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It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it. And hopefully they are doing it for a TON of money. One job in particular that doesn't sound popular is sewer work. Going below and mucking it up in the filthy water takes a strong stomach for sure. Our sewers are full of grotesque nonsense but also great mystery. People are tossing all sorts of mess into the waters below. Workers have discovered everything from money and clothes to the essential pieces of a murder mystery. Imagine what you could hoard from this job?

Redditor u/snowymelon594 wanted to know what treasures are swimming below us by asking... Sewer workers of Reddit, what is the weirdest thing you've seen down there?

No PPP Please...

Indonesia Tiger GIF by Percolate Galactic Giphy

I also supported CCTV inspections of sewer/storm lines, and have spent a lot of time watching the inspection videos.

Weirdest for me was a small gnome figurine standing perfectly in a lateral.

It was creepy, it looked like it was placed there but the main/laterals had been installed in the 70s.

Grossest was a massive greaseberg that formed near a restaurant. They had been dumping cooking oil/grease down the drain and it formed into a solid lump of fats, TP, towels, poop, etc.

Please don't send anything down the drains other than the 3 Ps (poop, pee, [toilet]paper).

patlaska

Sounds Ominous

I used to work... sort of tangential to sewer workers. I did tech support for sewer inspection software, and often I'd end up fixing busted video files from an inspection. These videos were collected by lowering a water-resistant camera on a remote-controlled rig down into the pipe and driving it through.

There was one video from Fort Worth where they found a lateral (one of those pipes that connects a specific building to the main sewer line, like the pipe from your house to the main) that was completely clogged with used needles. It was a lateral off a hospital.

My favorite would be one from Florida (I think Sarasota) where they found a gator in the sewer. They were replacing the camera the next day, so the supervisor just said to ram him. What followed was about 15 minutes of an increasingly concerned alligator getting bumped by the lens until it got to a manhole chamber and took off down another line.

grombleduke

Listen Up

I'd also like to just send a message out to everyone who reads this post.

  • Please don't put fat or grease down the drain, eventually it will harden in the sewer and could cause a clog, which may back up your sewer. (Edit) Especially be careful in apartments, as everyone suite in largely connected to the same system. Grease and fats are more likely to collect in these systems.
  • Be careful with low flow toilets. They will save you money on water, but with the lower flow it can also cause backups. Sewer runs on gravity and flow, so if the flow drops off it more likely things will settle and clog the sewer line. If you have low flow toilets, try to do a nice big flush once a day, for no other reason that you're helping the sewer work. Condition_Boy

That's Random

Ummm GIF by memecandy Giphy

My own personal find was a diamond ring. But I've talked with coworkers who worked at the treatment plant. They had a fetus show up.

Condition_Boy

So. Much. Corn.

Previous job had me inspecting sanitary sewer systems and treatment plants during construction and immediately post-completion. In the treatment plants, corn. So. Much. Corn. All day, every day. Corn.

One small town had a tomato festival and cook off. Tomato seeds do not, in any way, get digested.

Not by humans, and not by the aerobic bacteria in the digesters. The town would spray the processed solids over a nearby field and it ended up being the biggest tomato garden I've ever seen. Acres of forbidden tomatoes!

StewoftheShoe

The Back Up

The obligatory I'm not a plumber but the apartment complex I lived in had to call a plumber out. All our toilets were backing up. The plumber finds several T-shirts had been flushed down by someone living in the complex. Don't know why someone was flushing t-shirts.

Zolome1977

"phantom knickers flusher"

Emptying out a pump truck after cleaning a lift station and a pair of bloomers fell out. Like, the kind your grandma's grandma wore. Except the crotch was missing, but they had been made that way.

ecaf_sinep

There's a water company in the UK (I can't remember which one it is possibly Anglian Water) that's had issue with what they have dubbed the "phantom knickers flusher" at one of their sites after large pairs of ladies underwear kept coming into the works.

20namesandcounting

SYOP THE FLUSH!!

clog shark week GIF by lilcozynostril Giphy

A 200 ton wad of "flushable wipes". Just because it's "flushable" does NOT mean it's biodegradable. seriously you're messing up your plumbing. Stop flushing stuff you SHOULD NOT be flushing.

Holinyx

the little things...

Tomato plants are surprisingly hardy, we've seen them trying to sprout when they get caught in the bottoms of brick manholes. Also a huge quantity of pot leaves came up on a pump station barrack. A cheetah print thong large enough to go around a big rig tire.

Fleetmech

Whodunit...

michael c hall smile GIF Giphy


I found a body of a murder victim, the dexter killer of Edmonton.

skaomatic

REDDIT

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