Flushed goldfish find new home at sewage works


KIND-HEARTED sewage workers have created a sanctuary for goldfish they rescue after being flushed away by callous owners.

Lucky, Wanda, and Pooh were given a new home in an old diesel tank at a treatment works in Stirling.

Lucky, the most recent arrival, earned her name after somehow surviving the first stage of the treatment process.

Wanda was scooped up by an amazed member of staff seven years ago and has thrived ever since on scraps from workers’ lunches.

Pooh, who was rescued two years ago, recently passed away and was even given a funeral by staff at Stirling waste water treatment works, which is operated by Scottish Water.

The fish are just one of the bizarre items recovered from the nation’s sewage network.

Scottish Water has today (Wed) revealed its Top 10 list of the weirdest items found in the sewers last year and Lucky only manages to come in at number six.

The list is released to highlight the dangers of dumping household objects in the sewers.

And for reasons that are far from clear, East Kilbride has bagged the top three places.

Number one of the list is a giant Winnie the Pooh cuddly toy found under the streets of the town.

In second place was a fax machine and third place a pink, lady’s bicycle.

A CCTV sweep of the sewers under Craiglaw Avenue, Strathblane, provided the fourth ranked object – a pair of jeans.

And coming in at number five was a white patio chair, found in a sewer under Goosedubs Lane, Glasgow.

After Lucky the Goldfish at number six, the remaining items were a golf club found in Ayr, three pairs of underpants in Glencaple pumping station, near Dumfries, a pail’s-worth of apples in a sewer trap in Buchan, and a pot’s-worth of cooked potatoes found in a manhole in Thurso.

William Quinn, a process operator at the Stirling plant, saved Lucky.

He said:

“It’s surprising what comes in.

“Lucky came up through the sewage system, through the pipe work and was found in the skip. “

Lucky joined the other goldfish in the diesel tank after outgrowing a two-foot tank from William’s own house.

He said:

“I look at the fish and watch them every day. “

He added that after Pooh died last week

“we had a small funeral service for it.”

Peter Kelly, waste water treatment team leader at the sewage works, said that it is amazing how big the goldfish had grown.

He added:

“They look like carp you would find in a garden pond.

“The guys are quite fond of them. They throw bits of vegetation in and the fish nibble on it.

“The guys feed them with Burger Kings. They throw bits of roll and stuff into the pond, I think that’s why they are so big. “

Mr Kelly also says that false teeth are one of the most common items recovered from the sewers.

He recalled a woman who contacted the sewage works to say her husband had been sick and lost his false teeth down the loo.

He said:

“I told her that we had a number of pairs and she asked if her husband could come down and try a few out until he gets his new pair in. “

The list of weird items has been released today as part of Scottish Water’s campaign –

“Bag It and Bin It’ – which aims to educate householders and businesses what not to flush.

Rob Mustard, waste water general manager, said:

“When sewers, pumping stations and sewage works get clogged they overflow and sewage can pollute watercourses. This endangers wildlife and the environment.

“In Scotland it is estimated that a shocking 340 million items of sanitary waste are flushed every year and 55 per cent of all sewer blockages are caused by people disposing of cooking fat down their sink.

“Every year around 6 million of customer’s money is spent by Scottish Water trying to fix these blockages and repair the damage. We dealt with over 51,000 choked drains last year and we need the help of the public to bring this number down. “

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