As many of us are only too aware, as the dark nights start to draw in and autumn arrives the colder weather can lead to problems within the home. This is why it is always advisable to be prepared before winter sets in and you find all sorts of things start to go wrong.

One area which is quite easy to overlook but which could have expensive consequences for your house is drainage. This is because blocked drains, when left to build up, can soon lead to flooding and this means that your home will need to be cleaned up and the damaged items replaced.

It is not too difficult to perform basic maintenance of your drains in and around your home. Firstly, do not flush any unsuitable items down the toilet or pour fats and oils down the sinks as these can contribute to these drainage issues.

Go round the gutters surrounding your property and make sure they are not blocked by leaves and other debris as this can cause flooding.

During very cold weather conditions it is also common for pipes to freeze and so you may wish to keep your heating on low, even when you go out.

Over the past few decades it has been highlighted by scientists and the news that we have to do more to look after our planet. We can do this in many different ways. One of the main things people can do is to look after the drain and sewerage system in the UK to reduce the likelihood that it will keep getting blocked.

This can have dire consequences for the wildlife as blocked sewers often lead to surface water flooding with residential areas and city centres becoming awash with foul smelling wastewater. But that is not all, as the natural habitat of wildlife is also affected by sewer flooding which can destroy their environment near rivers and waterways.

Closer to home you can help to make sure that this isn’t allowed to happen. This can be done in a number of ways which we will be focusing on in this article and the next one.

Firstly, and this has been mentioned many times before, you really need to take responsibility for the items flushed down into your drains. It is a sad fact that most of these flooding instances are caused by people getting rid of products in this way.

It has been revealed this week that the water and sewerage company Southern Water has agreed to put £1.3 million towards a reduction in the risk of flooding in some areas of Dover.

The investment means that the company will be making improvements to the sewer network in various locations to ensure that pipes are not overloaded during stormy weather.

These drainage maintenance works have now already begun in the region and will carry on until late December. During this time, an underground pumping station, plus some new manholes and sewers will be built, while other sewers will be improved.

Contractors 4Delivery, which is a consortium made up of Costain, MWH and Veolia Water, are implementing this scheme from their Crabble Hill base. They will be working with Southern Water and residents to ensure the work goes as smoothly and with as little disruption as possible.

Project manager for Southern Water, Gary Sayers, said:

“This scheme will bring benefits to various parts of Dover, not just the areas we’ll be working in. Construction like this can inevitably cause disruption but we will do all we can to keep this to a minimum and to finish the work on time.”

In the last article, we looked at the various things which can contribute to part of a sewer network overflowing and flooding our towns and cities. In places like London and other urban areas, the problem is a result of the fact the system of carrying rainwater and wastewater is linked together, meaning it all mixes together.

Situations like this mean that the flooding in these parts of the country can pose a health hazard due to foul sewage being involved.

When a storm is particularly bad and constant, it will not take as long for the sewer flow to reach full capacity and it is hard for the system to cope sufficiently. If it becomes overwhelmed then it is not uncommon for sewage to flood domestic properties in addition to rivers and natural environments.

This overflow comes from gullies and manholes and can create extreme situations where drainage maintenance is required immediately. In high priority cases, councils and water companies will enlist the services of a contractor to keep things under control and get the system working efficiently again.

Flood alleviation schemes are now in place to deal with public sewer flooding issues and ensure that the network has the capacity to cope during heavy storms.

Southern Water has taken an unexpected step of deciding to host a meeting where residents of the Hampshire village of Milford-On-Sea can hear all about their upcoming flood and pollution alleviation scheme.

This drop-in session, which took place yesterday, gave the people of the community a chance to find out about the £1.6 million investment to reduce the risk of pollution and flooding in the area. The project team were on hand to explain the process and answer any questions which followed.

Southern Water is planning to begin this project in the near future, with work carrying on until the spring of next year. The improvements include the installation of a relief sewer and storage tank to alleviate the capacity problems of the sewerage network.

Contracts engineer for Southern Water, Dennis Taplin, said:

“We’re committed to reducing the flood and pollution risk in Milton-on-Sea and I’m delighted our regulator Ofwat has given us permission to start work.

“I hope as many people as possible visit our drop-in day to find out about the benefits of the scheme and how it will affect them.

“I know schemes like this can cause disruption but we and our contractor 4Delivery will do all we can to keep this to a minimum.”

It has been reported this week that the Scottish Government are to put forward £10 million which will go towards housing infrastructure projects in the country which currently suffer from flooding and drainage-related problems.

This announcement is a huge boost for the Scottish construction industry as these loans will be able to support these new homes developments.

At the present time, there are many projects which have been put on hold because of things like flooding, water contamination and blocked drainage. This new fund will hopefully address these issues and allow the work to go ahead.

Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, explained that this money aims at “kick starting a range of developments in urban and rural communities across Scotland.”

He added:

“Loans will be for companies to build the roads or lay the pipes and cables that mean housing developments can go ahead. Unlocking development in this way will deliver a major boost to the Scottish economy worth far in advance of the initial £10 million investment and supporting many construction industry jobs.”

There are many parts of Scotland which suffer from flooding and other drainage issues, so this news of increased funding is sure to help development in the current economic climate.

As a specialist drainage contractor, it is common for engineers to be sent out to tackle all kinds of drainage-related problems. These may be at homes where there are blockages causing all kinds of health-issues, or flooding on the streets where the sewers have exceeded their capacity.

There are many things which drainage experts have to deal with on a daily basis. Some of these are routine planned maintenance works to ensure that there are no obstructions in the pipework and the wastewater flows to where it can be treated. Others may be emergency situations where a technician needs to be on the scene within a matter of hours.

The fact that there are professionals available to take on all these different jobs make them the ideal partner for businesses and local authorities. Councils do not always have the resources in-house to take on everything which comes their way, which is why many of them utilise the services offered by drainage maintenance companies.

They have the experience and resources to carry out work on UK roads as well as at various types of domestic and commercial properties, which is why they are often relied upon to keep the country’s sewerage systems working as they should be.

Whether you are a homeowner, facilities manager, manufacturing plant owner or property developer, drainage may not be something you think about during your day-to-day operations. This is probably because the drains taking the wastewater from your building are flowing as they should.

However, should you experience issues with the drainage it can come as a big surprise, especially when you are unprepared for it. The blockage can easily lead to flooding and more widespread damage, which can take a long time to clear up.

It can indeed prove to be costly when all the build-up in the pipework results in disruption to your daily life, whether this is as a homeowner or business manager. This is why it is recommended that you consider a drain maintenance contract with a top drainage contractor.

All the work is included in the contract and when you plan and schedule for this maintenance to take place, it is so much better to know that there is unlikely to be any unexpected drain problems in the future.

As your property or business premises are being monitored on a regular basis, you can have complete peace of mind that your drains are being looked after by professionals who know exactly what they are doing.

This may sound like a strange question seeing as you would expect a product which has been labelled as ‘flushable’ to be exactly that, but when it comes to the sewerage system you would be surprised.

The reality of the situation is that product labelling can be confusing at times and this is certainly the case with regards to what you should (and shouldn’t) flush down the toilet, or pour into the sink.

Even though many products say they are safe to be disposed of in this way, the drains connected to your property have not been designed for these types of unsuitable items to pass through them. Only human waste, toilet tissue and wastewater should flow through the sewerage system.

So you can see why it is necessary for water and sewerage companies to campaign for homeowners to realise that this is indeed the case. Otherwise you will find that blockages continue to be a growing problem and this can easily lead to flooding.

If the system cannot cope with the things being flushed down there, then this could block your internal plumbing, allowing it to back up instead.

The message to ‘Bin it – don’t block it’, a campaign slogan adopted by Thames Water, is something which should be heeded if you want to avoid drainage problems within your home.

It is not uncommon for a home or business owner to find their property’s drainage pipes blocked from time to time. This is especially more of a frequent experience in a big city like London or Manchester where there is a lot of strain put on the sewerage system.

So should you ever spot a blockage in your building, or indeed within the boundaries of your property, it is always best to turn to a specialist drainage contractor for help with the issue. You may be wondering exactly how they would usually approach this kind of situation.

The following stages are what an engineer might consider when arranging to come round to your property to assess the extent of the blockage and carry out any potential drainage maintenance work.

When the engineer arrives they will normally have a look at where the blockage actually is within the pipework. They will investigate the problem and then be able to clear it for you. If the blockage requires further drain inspection work to be done, CCTV surveys may be necessary.

Whatever happens, you can be sure that the drainage technician will arrive promptly and keep you updated with what is required to sort the problem, by making sure it is cleared effectively and with the minimum amount of disruption to your daily life.