A BIKE, a rubber duck and a children's toys are among the items unearthed from blocked drains by Yorkshire Water in 2020.

The objects have been included in a short quiz which the Bradford-based company has posted on its Facebook page. It has challenged people to identify objects from a series of unsavoury-looking pictures taken by staff charged with the unpleasant and often tricky task of fishing out the obstruction.

‘In 2020 we saw some strange items in Yorkshire’s sewers, making us wonder how on earth they even got in there!’ says a message accompanying the puzzle. ‘Can you guess what these objects are?’

“Objects such as the bike quickly cause build ups as everything else gets snagged on it, making the blockage bigger,” said a company spokesman.

Last year Yorkshire Water attended just over 25,000 blockages in 2020 and of those 2,200 were in Bradford’ postcodes.

Customer comments in response to the pictures include one woman’s experience: ‘A few years ago we had to call you out to a drain blockage near us. Someone had shoved a dead Christmas tree down there!’

Another said he recalled helping to extricate a mattress that someone had managed to push down the sewer.

During the first lockdown Yorkshire Water became aware of an increase in DIY items in the sewer system. They dealt with several large blockages, as a result of people disposing of materials such as wet concrete down their drain or toilet.

The increase coincided with a five-year peak in Google searches for ‘how to get rid of concrete.’

One blockage in West Yorkshire was caused due to a large build up of concrete in the pipe - after numerous attempts to remove it with high pressure water jetting, Yorkshire Water it had to be removed it with a three-meter deep excavation into the sewer, costing more than £25,000.

“We found bricks that had been put down manholes,” said a spokesman. “It was a combination of more people carrying out DIY, and local waste centres being closed.”

One blockage was caused by a flushed tape measure, another by a screwdriver. Paint has also been poured down drains and toilets.

Blockages can cause build ups of fat known as fatbergs. A mammoth fatberg found in central Leeds took four nights work to break down and remove piece by piece - around 1.5 tonnes in total.

Disposal of wet wipes, cooking oil and nappies continues to be a major problem for water companies across Britain.

Mark Hammond, head of customer field services at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our teams were called to more than 25,000 blockages across our region in 2020,

with the vast majority caused by items that should not have been flushed down the toilet or poured down the drain. It is important people only flush the 3Ps - pee, poo and (toilet) paper - down their toilet and don’t pour fats, oils and greases down the drain.

“Wet wipes are a common cause of blockages and we would urge our customers to think twice before flushing them, as one wipe may not seem significant, but when combined they create blockages that prevent our network operating correctly. In some instances, these blockages can lead to sewage flooding in homes and the local environment."

He added: “Foreign objects, such as nappies, cotton buds and sanitary products also contribute to blockages across Yorkshire.

“Clearing blockages caused by foreign objects, fats and wet wipes cost millions of pounds in 2020 - money which could be spent on improving our network and innovative new technologies.”

To see if you can identify the items causing blockages visit https://www.facebook.com/yorkshirewater/photos/a.131035250424626/1568412513353552/