Drain blockages can cause serious problems for homeowners if they are not dealt with quickly. If you have a serious blockage, the waste water and waste solids may find their way into your garden or even your home.

It’s for the reasons above that it’s important to have the telephone number of a professional drain cleaning company to hand. Drain cleaners are not commonly needed, but when they are, they need to respond to the problem quickly so the problem doesn’t worsen.

If you have a blocked drain, you should call a drain cleaning company straight away. They will be able to visit your premises and jet the drain to remove the problem causing blockage.

Sometimes blockages in waste pipes are caused by a pipe collapse or root intrusion into the pipe. Drainage engineers can look into your drainage system using CCTV survey equipment to locate problems like this and are then able to discuss suitable remedial action.

It’s not always the case that a problem with a drain will need excavation. Sometimes a drain liner can be inserted into the drainage system, which can repair damage to a section of pipe and the existing drain can be left in situ.

United Utilities have been fined for allowing raw sewage to discharge into the River Mersey.

The incident happened earlier this year when a discharge of raw sewage entered the river from an overflow outlet at Macdermott Road, Widnes.

Court proceedings took place, with United Utilities admitting liability for the incident and accepting a fine of £14,000 and costs of £1,334 payable to the Environment Agency.

The incident occurred because a section of the local pumping station became blocked with solidified waste fats. The blockage at the pumping station meant that sewage could not make its way through the drainage system which meant that it had no other option but to discharge via the overflow vent.

United Utilities have now put systems in place to make sure that a similar incident does not occur.

It’s amazing how many people still unwittingly put waste oil and fat into the drainage system. When the fat cools it solidifies, causing a serious headache for drainage engineers who have to remove the frequent blockages cause by solidified fats.

Instead of pouring liquid fat into the drain, collect it in a heat proof vessel and when it solidifies put it into the non-recyclable waste with your other general waste products.

Lossiemouth residents are being asked to bag sanitary items and baby wipes instead of flushing them into the waste system.

The Moray town has suffered a number of floods recently, all caused by problems at the local pumping station. The station, on the east side of the town, has been blocked by people putting items into their toilets that should really be bagged and disposed of in the bin, not flushed down the toilet.

When the pumping station is out of action, waste can back up and flood onto the streets or through overflow vents into the Moray Firth.

Steve Scott, from Scottish Water stated:

“Protecting the environment is of paramount importance to Scottish Water but we face a real battle thanks to the likes of the humble baby wipe. Along with kitchen wipes, nappies and other products they’re tougher than toilet paper and shouldn’t be flushed but bagged and binned instead. We’re doing our best to keep on top of the situation and I’m sure the people of Lossiemouth care about their environment and will do their bit to help.”

Drainage engineers have to unblock thousands of drainage pipes every year that are caused by residents putting incorrect items down their toilets.

Drainage issues are normally simple to solve if you have the right equipment and the knowhow. However, if you have noticed that your sink is draining slower than usual or the water in your toilet takes longer to be taken away when you flush, it could be indicative of a problem worsening and prompt action needing to be taken.

Most drainage problems won’t go away by themselves and will need to be fixed so that the problem does not escalate into a flood situation.

If you have a blocked sink or toilet, there are a few things you can try before calling the drainage engineers. They include:

  • Putting piping hot water into the sink or toilet can break up the blockage
  • Using a plunger can shift the blockage by creating a vacuum
  • You can hire drain rods from hire shops that can be inserted into the drain to shift the clog
  • Powerful drain cleaners can be bought from DIY stores which can break up the blockage

If all else fails you may need to call a drainage contractor who will be able to jet the drain with a high pressure jet of water to move the blockage. They will also be able to conduct a CCTV survey on the drainage system to diagnose any issues that may cause the problem to reoccur.

An £800,000 sewer project has just been completed by Thames Water to protect a site of special scientific interest (SSSI).

The installation of a new sewer at Abingdon in Oxfordshire took 13 weeks to complete and replaced a sewer prone to leaks with a new plastic and concrete sewer away from the local nature reserve.

The new sewer pipe has been redirected away from the rare fenland habitat at Dalton Barracks which supports hundreds of species of rare marsh helleborine and marsh fragrant orchid. The scheme is part of Thames Water’s promise to invest over £4.9bn into the region between 2010 and 2015.
Andrew Popple, the project manager stated:

“This is really great news wildlife and for residents. The new sewer pipe will help prevent flooding to the SSSI land in the future, which will be a great benefit to everyone who enjoys visiting, or live near to, this lovely spot.

“Sewer flooding at people’s homes is a truly miserable experience and getting rid of it is our top priority. Our new sewer pipe will help prevent this.”

The new sewer will also reduce the risk of flooding for a number of residents who have been adversely affected in the past.

United Utilities are going to turn a disused tennis court in the middle of a housing estate in Leigh into a playground, as a thank you to residents who have put up with sewer replacement work over the last few months.

In conjunction with Wigan Council, Leigh Town Partnership and Groundwork, United Utilities will build a £64,000 play area on the currently disused land. Work has already started and will be completed before Christmas.

The work, part of the United Futures community regeneration scheme, will see swings, trees, a roundabout, new pathways and parking created.

United Utilities’ Stuart Bell stated:

“The playground is a great way of saying thanks to local residents for their patience during the recent sewer work.

“The old tennis courts look unsightly, and have tended to be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, so this project will turn an eyesore into a valued community space.”

Charity organisation Groundwork asked the community what it needed and a playground was a high priority.

Gethin Owens from Groundwork stated:

“We asked the community what they wanted for their neighbourhood, and a playground came out top of the list.

“We will be creating a really bright, inviting play area which will lift the appearance of the area, and give children and their parents somewhere fun to go. We aim to have the work completed by mid-December, which will be a great Christmas present for the local community.”

How does a CCTV Drain Survey Help?

Many people don’t realise that they have a drainage issue until they have a flood or until they notice a strange smell. Fortunately, both these things can be looked at by drainage experts who will be able to diagnose the problem and offer a suitable solution.

Because the drains leading away from the home are underground, many people disregard them until they have a problem. This means that the consequences of a drain blockage can be severe. Unbeknown to the homeowner, if their drains were checked on a regular basis, most of the problems that cause drain blockages could be solved easily and quickly.

Drainage engineers can easily diagnose potential drainage problems by conducting a CCTV survey. As part of the survey, the drainage professional will insert a CCTV camera into the drain so real time images of the drain can be viewed on a computer screen. The drainage professional will then analyse the images, looking for causes of potential blockages and looking for damage to sections of the drainage pipe.

If a problem is found, in most cases a repair can be undertaken that does not need excavation, as the drainage company will use a drain liner, which can be inserted into the drainage pipe to repair the damage.

Sewer improvement works in Penketh are continuing apace, with the latest stage of sewer replacements now under way.

The latest stage of the works, which began on Monday, has meant that Tannery Lane, between Newlyn Gardens and Harlyn gardens, has been closed. The work in the areas is expected to take six weeks to complete.

One completed, drainage engineers will connect the sewer with a cross country sewer that sits in fields off Tannery Lane.

From the 25th of October, work will also begin on Walkers Lane and will last for ten weeks.

The Project Coordinator for the works, Tony Lowles, stated:

“The work on Tannery Lane and Walkers Lane is designed to improve the overall reliability of the sewer network and help towards alleviating the risk of flooding to nearby homes during heavy rainfall.

“When we are in a position to connect our new sewer on Walkers Lane to the tank on Station Road we will reopen Station Road and remove the diversion.

“We will continue to allow access in and out of Walkers Lane through the newly formed access for local traffic and our construction vehicles, but we would like to advise residents that this access will revert to a no through road once our work is completed.”

People can still access Penketh South Primary School and St Vincent’s Primary School from Chapel Road during the works.

Work including the installation of a new sewer in Alsager has just been completed by United Utilities.
It is hoped that the new sewer system and the installation of an underground water storage tank by drainage contractors will protect homes by preventing flooding on Barrett Road, Linley Grove and Linley Road.

The installation of the huge storage tank will mean that during times of prolonged heavy rainfall the original sewer system should not be overwhelmed and flood risk will be reduced.

The Project Coordinator for United Utilities, Jason Boyd, stated:

“We are pleased to say that this essential work is now complete and there should be no further traffic disruption for local residents, which we know has been an issue for them whilst work has been ongoing.

“We would like to thank residents for their continued patience and understanding and we hope that our work will bring peace of mind to those who have been affected by the very unpleasant problem of sewer flooding.”

Further landscaping work needs to be done in the Linley Grove car park area, but this will be done in the spring when it will have the best chance to establish properly.

The company pledged to spend £2.9bn between 2005 and 2010 on environmental improvement and water quality projects.

A new sewage system in Edington has just been completed by Wessex Water. The new system has seen some 2,300m of pipes added to the network along with a new storm tank so the sewers can cope with excessive rainfall.

Previously only 25 properties in the town were connected to the mains sewage system, but the addition of the new drainage network has meant another 75 properties are now connected to mains sewerage.
The scheme, which started in January, has cost Wessex water £2m and will reduce pollution in the area.
John Phillips, from Wessex Water stated:

“This was a challenging scheme which involved using specialist equipment to remove rock discovered below ground so that the new sewers could be laid.

“Workers also had to contend with heavy snowfall at the beginning of the year but thankfully due to their persistence and cooperation from local residents we were still able to complete the scheme on time.”

The water company has tried to keep residents happy throughout the scheme by giving them progress reports.

Mr Phillips further added:

“This was a major scheme for Edington and we are delighted that local residents have welcomed the improvements it will bring. I would like to thank them for their support and assistance during the work.”