Anglian Water technicians are used to finding odd things in the sewers but a metre-long American snake was exceptional.
The corn snake was spotted by one of its technicians at an inlet screen after coming out a sewer in the Haverhill water recycling plant. It may have been flushed down a toilet or escaped from captivity and got into a drain.
Sarah Dobson, from Anglian Water said: “Once our technician found the snake he put it in a box to keep it warm, but unfortunately the poor snake probably had quite a tough journey to the water recycling centre and didn’t make it.
“We can’t be certain how the snake made its way into the sewer, but we would always urge people who have pets they can no longer care for to take them to a rehoming centre or animal sanctuary so they can be looked after properly.
“Our teams really care about the environment and whenever they find an animal on one of our sites, they will always try to keep it safe and seek advice from wildlife or animal organisations.”
Anglian Water’s teams often find mobile phones and children’s toys that have been accidently flushed down the loo, but the biggest problem for the water company is wet wipes which, with fats, oils and greases, cause blockages, which can flood homes and gardens.
Sarah added: “Anglian Water attends more than 34,000 sewer blockages every year – the vast majority of which are avoidable and caused by wipes, sanitary items and fats and greases from cooking.
“We spend around £15million every year to remove blockages from the sewers – money which goes on customer bills and would be better spent elsewhere.”
Last year, Anglian Water teams were called to 122 sewer blockages in Haverhill alone.