A sewer has partially collapsed on the busy A53, leaving motorists facing three weeks of delays. The sewer under the A53 at Stockton Brook will have to be excavated by drainage engineers after it was found to be partially collapsed during a CCTV survey.

The road had been excavated recently as part of an ongoing gas main replacement programme but will have to be excavated again to replace the sewer. The road is the main route between Leek and Stoke-on-Trent, so Severn Trent hope that the road will not need to be closed in both directions.

A spokesperson for Severn Trent stated:

“We’re planning to replace a five-metre stretch of partially collapsed sewer.

“We’re hoping to use two-way lights to control traffic, and if all goes according to plan, the work should take two to three weeks to complete.”

The work will not take place until next summer to try to keep the disruption caused to a minimum. However, it may be necessary to replace the pipe sooner if the pipe further deteriorates.

Most of the work will have to be undertaken by hand as the sewer is 5 metres beneath the gas main.

Work has already started on a £21 million upgrade scheme to give residents on the Wirral cleaner water. United Utilities are going to upgrade trunk main systems across the region and around 40km of piping will be either cleaned or replaced with new plastic pipe.

The work has to be done to remove sediment in the pipes that has settled over the years. The sediment, which is harmless, can build up over time and cause problems such as the discolouration of water.

The first phase of work, which will take six weeks to complete, will take place in Ellesmere Port on Pooltown Road. Temporary traffic management systems will be in place while the work is carried out.
The project manager, Mike Addison, stated:

“This work is essential for water quality. Over time, pipes can fur up on the inside and deposits of iron and manganese get into the water. Although harmless, it can cause some discolouration and we are keen to tackle it.

“Cleaning or replacing the pipes will ensure Wirral households can continue to enjoy high quality drinking water for many years to come. It’s a big undertaking, which is why we will be carrying out the work in several phases.

“We are aiming to deliver the work on Pooltown Road with a minimal amount of disruption. Thankfully, a road closure will not be necessary, but we would advise motorists to add a few minutes to their journey times, given that temporary traffic lights will be in place.”

United Utilities are currently upgrading water and drainage systems across the North West as part of their commitment to improve the services that they provide

Restaurant owners and hoteliers had a chance to see Brighton’s famous sewer system up close and personal recently. As part of Southern Water’s fight the fat campaign, the group were taken on a tour some of the most famous chambers, before emerging through a manhole cover at the Royal Pavilion.
The city has 300 miles of brick-built sewers, which have to cope with over 20 million gallons of raw sewage every day.

The fight the fat campaign, which launched last Christmas, highlights the importance of the correct disposal of liquid cooking fat. The fat, which solidifies when cold, is a major problem for waste water companies across the UK and is a problem faced by homeowners on a regular basis who do not realise the problems that can be caused.

The General Manager of the Hotel Du Vin commented:

“After living what I thought was an eco-friendly way of life, I was shocked to discover the damage and problems caused by disposing of fat, oil and grease through our drains. Since going on the Brighton Sewer Tour my eyes have been opened and I now feel well informed. I would certainly recommend this tour to my friends, family and guests of Hotel Du Vin.”

Three thousand properties are flooded in the South East every year because of the accumulation of solidified fat. Southern Water’s Director of Communications Geoff Loader stated:

“We would like to thank all our guests for their support of our Fight the Fat environmental campaign. Tipping fat, oil and grease down the sink, or leaving it on crockery and pans in the dishwasher, blocks sewers and customers’ pipes. Approximately 35 per cent of sewer blockages are caused by congealed cooking fats and oils.

“We are seeing more and more flooding in the UK caused by extreme weather and the effects of this can be much worse if sewers are blocked by fat. This is why we urge our local businesses and householders to dispose of their cooking oils responsibly and we urge other organisations to follow suit.”

The Northumbrian village of Choppington is to receive an upgrade to its sewerage network to alleviate flooding problems.

Flood risk will be greatly reduced in Choppington after Northumbria Water announced they are planning to spend £500,000 on a new system. Homes in Farndale Avenue and Percy Gardens will be protected thanks to a new sewer pipe that will take storm water away from their homes at times of great rainfall. This will be in part thanks to the sewer diameter being increased, so it will be able to handle a larger volume of water.

The project, which is estimated to last three months, is expected to start on Monday the 11th of October. Paul Davison, project manager for the scheme stated:

“We appreciate that flooding is distressing for customers, so reducing this risk is one of our top priorities.

“This scheme will offer the residents of Choppington some protection for the future.”

The construction will cease for two weeks over the Christmas period to minimise disruption to traffic and holiday shoppers. The new scheme in Choppington is part of Northumbria Water’s pledge to customers to improve sewer systems across the region.

A £20 million waste water scheme has been unveiled today by United Utilities to help reduce the flood risk in the Lake District town of Keswick.

The plans have been available for residents to see at an exhibition at the local Moot Hall.

As part of the plans, the quality of water in nearby Bassenthwaite Lake will be improved by removing phosphorous, and the town’s flood defences will be improved. Work started in the town in May and the project has an estimated completion date of 2012.

Improvements include the introduction of a storm water tank and a new pumping station as well as increasing the diameter of the sewage pipe that runs to the local sewage treatment works. Other pipes which make up the sewage network in the town will also be replaced.

Geoff Durkin, project manager stated:

“This is an essential scheme for Keswick.

“Not only will it improve the environment in and around beautiful Bassenthwaite Lake, which is a uniquely
important environment, it will also help prevent flooding from United Utilities’ sewers in the Greta Grove area.

“We are committed to keeping people informed of our progress and seeing what they think.”

Pilling residents are coming to terms with a flood caused by a collapsed sewer that saw raw sewage floating in their gardens,

The problems started last Saturday when heavy rain caused pavements around St John’s Avenue to flood and the sewer could not cope with the extra rainfall. United Utilities are looking at the problem and have found that a sewer on a nearby street collapsed causing the issue. They have sent waste tankers to pump the sewage from the area until a drain repair can be auctioned and are fitting a bypass sewer so the waste can be redirected until the main sewer can be repaired.

A spokesperson for United Utilities stated:

“We are sorry to people in Pilling that have experienced the flooding. There has been a collapsed sewer on School Lane.

“We are working hard to fix the problem. A temporary sewer pipe has been installed to act as a by-pass but the heavy rain has led to a lot of soil going in the pipe which is causing blockages.”

Teams of drainage experts used jet washers to remove the silt that was causing the issue with drainage engineers expected to action a complete repair of the pipe later in the week.

Residents in Port Glasgow are currently having their sewage taken away in a tanker after a lump of concrete blocked a section of sewer near the A8.

Scottish Water is sending a tanker up to two times a day to pump sewage from flats whilst investigations and discussions take place with Amey, the road maintenance contractor. The Water company has known of the current problem since March, but residents say that they have faced issues for at least the last four years.

The concrete piece that is causing the problem is suited under a lamppost, which needs to be removed before sewer excavations can take place. A spokesperson for Scottish Water stated:

“Until we are able to do so, we will continue to use tankers to remove waste water to keep the system going and reduce the risk of the system backing up.”

Amey need to put traffic management systems in place on the A8 whilst work can be undertaken to remove the lamppost and then Scottish water can fix the blocked sewer. The two companies just need to overlap their schedules to make the repair happen. Until then residents will have to rely on the tanker to remove the sewage.

If you have a blocked drain, drain inspection works will need to be undertaken to find the cause of the blockage. Drains can be blocked by a number of different things, from incorrect items being put into the drainage system, to roots which find their way into the drain and cause a blockage.

During a drain inspection, drainage contractors will usually perform a CCTV survey of the drain so they can visually inspect the problem. A camera is inserted into the drain and then pushed into the drain section by section, relaying real-time information back to a computer screen. The data is recorded and collated and the images can be played back a number of times to inspect the integrity of the pipe. The blockage may be easy to spot and hence can be dealt with easily using drain jetting, however, if there is damage along the length of the pipe, the problem may need to be assessed further to see what necessary course of action should be taken.

In some cases when there is damage along the section of the drainage pipe, the pipe can be fitted with a liner. The liner will allow solid and fluid matter to flow freely again and hence restore the integrity of the pipe. The best thing about a liner repair, is complete excavation of the pipe is usually not required. In some instances, when a liner is not suitable, the pipe will need to excavated and a new section fitted.

Drainage companies know the importance of making sure that drainage systems are properly maintained and in a good working condition. If problems occur, the consequences can be disastrous for the homeowner and can also be damaging to the environment.

In one case recently, a housing developer was fined over £13,000 for failure to make sure that a new sewage system was in a good working condition. The Environment Agency found that the company had allowed pollution to enter a stream that feeds the River Tamar after a holding tank had overflowed.

The new properties the developer had built used a holding tank to hold raw sewage before it was pumped to a gravity sewer before being treated at the local sewage works. However, the pumping station failed, allowing sewage to find its way into a steam and onto nearby land causing environmental damage.

The incident happened between the end of August and the middle of September last year, but had recently come to court. The developer was fined £10,000 and had to pay costs of just under £3,500.

East Riding is giving local residents the chance to hire an eco pack, which could see them slash fuel bills and stop problems with blocked drains.

The packs can be hired from the local library and contain items such as a honeycomb kitchen fat collector that can be composted, an electricity usage monitor and a toilet water saving gadget. And the scheme, which takes its roots from a similar incentive which launched last year, is already proving popular.

“The monitors can be taken out on loan, just like a book or compact disk. It is hand-held and very simple to use.

“Seeing how much electricity is being used can be a real shock. It is amazing how quickly we can then find ways to save energy and, as a result, money.

“It is a good time to be loaning the packs before the cold weather is upon us.”

Said Councillor Simon Fraser.

The electricity monitor must be returned, but the fat collector and the water saver can be kept.

Using the honeycomb ‘fat’ pouch you can collect waste cooking fats instead of pouring them down the sink. This can stop drain blockages and reduce the need for drain jetting. The water saving device fits into the toilet cistern and saves a litre of water every time the toilet is flushed.