Now that spring is here and the cold weather is starting to make way for a bit more sun, people are starting to head back into their gardens again.

Due to this prolonged period of absence from the garden, it is understandable that there will be plenty of things to do in order to get the place into a fit state once again. As you carry out this maintenance work, you may notice that there are plenty of fallen leaves which are clogging your drains.

If you want to avoid any expensive repair costs due to flooding later in the year it is advisable to ensure this leaf debris is removed from your gutters around your property. They also accumulate in the waste water gullies too.

This is when it is necessary to call in a drainage contractor to take a look at the situation and check that the drains are not blocked by leaves and other vegetation.

Drain jetting is just one of the techniques they can employ to clear the drains and see to it that everything is working as it should. While it may not seem like an immediate problem you wish to address, you’ll certainly be glad you did when you are told it could have lead to the flooding of your garden.

Yorkshire Water has revealed that in the past six months alone, their teams have had to take on over 100 sewer blockage jobs in the seaside resort of Bridlington.

This just goes to show the issue at a local level, with nearly 19,000 blockages having to be attended in the region last year. With 54,000 kilometres of sewer pipes to look after, this just goes to show that the water company certainly has its work cut out.

Their statistics show that around 38 per cent of these blockages were due to grease, oil and fat being poured sown the sink or nappies, sanitary items and baby wipes being flushed down the toilet.

As well as proving to be costly to remove the build up of these products from the sewers it can also cause inconvenience to householders too. Home flooding is just one result of this being allowed to happen.

However, in order to combat this growing problem, the water company has started rolling out an innovative new sewer clearing method of using fat-busting bugs in addition to common practices such as drain jetting.

Patrick Killgallon, pollution manager at Yorkshire Water, said:

“The deployment of fat-busting bugs in our sewer network is an example of this, with these ‘good’ bacteria literally feasting on solidified fat in our sewer. And because these bacteria constantly multiply in the right environment, we can leave them to get on with their job in our sewers, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, without the need for regular dosing.

“Consequently, we’re confident their introduction will significantly help to reduce fat, oils and grease blockages in the region, ensuring waste water from local homes and businesses can flow freely to our sewage works where we can recycle it properly before returning it to the environment.”

Water company Yorkshire Water have taken the unusual step to deploy fat-busting bugs in the sewers of Bridlington to remove blockages from the system.

This treatment process is completely environmentally-friendly and involves trillions of the bacteria being mixed with non-chlorinated water before being allowed to feed on the grease, oils and fat in the sewer.

Well-known problem areas at Lancaster Road and South Marine Drive were the location for this innovative solution.

These blockages are caused by the fat reaching the sewer from private drains, normally through the kitchen sink as well as from appliances like the dishwasher. The flow capacity of pipes is severely reduced by this practice and often results in home flooding and pollution of the environment.

Pollution manager at the water company, Patrick Killgallon, said:

“Having your home filled with waste from your toilet is a very unpleasant experience which no one should ever have to suffer, which is why we work hard to encourage people to think twice before they pour left over fat down the plug hole or flush the odd make-up wipe down the toilet.

“This said, we’ve already carried out almost 700 jobs to remove blockages in our Hull sewers so far this year, which shows the sheer scale of the issue we all face.”

When you need to find a drainage contractor in an emergency situation, it is not always easy to locate one unless you have used one before. For commercial and industrial businesses in major cities within the UK, you may have to do some research to source a specialist that can assist you.

Depending on the nature of the problem, be it a blockage which is causing flooding or repair work to the drains servicing your premises, you will have to track down a drainage maintenance company with the resources to carry out the job.

By going to a dedicated drain specialist you can be sure that they will do all they can to fix the drains so that your business can continue as usual, with the minimum amount of disruption.

As drainage problems are a common occurrence in big cities, due to the fact that the drains are often working at capacity and may be in need of upgrade work, it is advisable to consider a contract with the specialist.

They can then be called upon at any time of the day or night and can ensure your drains are flowing as they should. And with regular drainage maintenance, you can avoid these emergency situations happening again in the future.

Major re-surfacing works and a drainage system upgrade are due to start in Bedford, the local borough council has revealed this week.

Traffic around Dame Alice Street will be affected by road closures for the seven-week project.

Bedford Borough Council has revealed that the signalling equipment was in desperate need of replacement, while drainage improvements were also necessary to ensure road safety in the area.

New cycleways will also be put in place as well as the resurfacing works and other improvements.

Businesses and local residents have been informed of the imminent disruptions while the work is being carried out. It has been organised so that it will all be completed in time for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations at the start of June.

Councillor Charles Royden, said:

“These are vital works which will significantly improve this important road to ensure it can continue to be used for many years to come.

“Surveys have also shown the drainage beneath Dame Alice Street is in serious need of repair and if left to deteriorate further it will affect the structure of the road.

“This work will also improve surface drainage from the road itself and prevent localised flooding. We are already working with Anglian Water to correct these issues as promptly as possible.”

The next stop for Yorkshire Water’s ‘Doing The Dirty’ tour was the town of Rotherham in South Yorkshire. On Saturday local residents were given the chance to obtain free sink strainers from the water company as part of their campaign to highlight sewer issues.

Yorkshire Water organised the event to show the community that sewerage systems can be damaged by the simple act of pouring fat down the sink in the kitchen.

As well as the goodies on offer, the water company provided interested residents with free advice on how best to dispose of cooking fats and oils, instead of getting rid of it in this popular way.

People flocked to the Old Town Hall to see what the organisation had to say, with many surprised to hear how engineers from the company had to clear 18,000 blockages last year throughout the region. Even in Rotherham there were 143 blockages related to fat deposits, with 81 of them being avoidable.

Pollution manager at the water company, Patrick Killgallon, said:

“Having your home filled with waste from your toilet and indeed your sink is a very unpleasant experience, which is why we are encouraging people to think twice before they pour left over fat down the plug hole or flush the odd make-up wipe down the toilet.

“We hope that by taking our road show on tour around the region we can really show people what the consequences look like.”

The emergency repairs are underway into the unblocking of a sewer in Urmston, with the engineers from water company United Utilities making use of an uncommon tunnelling technique to dig their way in.

As the drainage team begin the work to replace a large pipe beneath Flixton Road which had been filled in with concrete, engineers have positioned wooden supports enabling them to dig beneath a labyrinth of important cables and pipes placed above the sewer pipe.

United Utilities wastewater manager, Ian Fullalove, said:

“This is an extremely delicate operation. We cannot risk damaging any of the essential water, gas, electricity and phone lines which are blocking our access to the sewer, so we are having to go underneath them.

“We have tried to remove the concrete from inside the sewer using a cutting device, but it’s such a tough material – filling more than 25m of the pipe – that progress was too slow. What we are doing now is like a cross between brain surgery and The Great Escape.”

The sewer, which is 7 metres in depth, will need to be taken out by each section and replaced.

It is expected that the repair work will continue well into April, with regular updates provided to residents and local businesses along the way.

The difference between sewers, drains and lateral drains is not something you usually come across at school, so you can quite easily be forgiven for not knowing which name refers to what.

When it comes to your property and its connecting drainage system, it is worth finding out what these terms actually mean and how they relate to you. Otherwise you may get them confused and speak about one when you really mean another.

Many people did not realise, but the ownership of drains and the responsibility for looking after certain types changed towards the end of last year and so it is important to understand how this applies to you and your home.

The following are explanations for some of the most common types:

  • The drain – this is a waste pipe serving just the one residence
  • Lateral drains – these relate to the drainage pipes sitting just outside of the boundary of your property
  • The sewer – finally, these are wastewater pipes serving a number of properties. With these systems, they can be privately as well as publicly owned.

To clarify, the homeowner is responsible for all private drains which are within the boundary of the property. So, if you ever have any issue with your drains, be sure to speak to the specialists.

Sheffield residents have been invited by regional water company Yorkshire Water to find out more about the benefits of the Blackburn Meadows sewage treatment works scheme.

The customer drop-in event is being held this Tuesday to let the local people know more about the £78 million plans to update the current system.

If you want to see what the water company have to say on the subject, and to air your own views, you can turn up at Tinsley Green Community Centre on Norborough Road.

As well as being informed about the work to reduce the flooding risk in Sheffield, you can learn more about how the environment will be affected too, with the scheme aiming to improve the quality of river water in addition to giving a boost to biodiversity.

The work is set to go ahead at the end of this month and will last until September 2014 as most of the treatment facilities at the plant will have to be replaced.

Yorkshire Water Project Manager, Kevin Smith, said:

“This iconic works is nestled right in the heart of Sheffield’s industrial waterfront, and like many works in the area, it has to move with the times. We are significantly changing the face of Blackburn Meadows to create a much cleaner, healthier environment for residents and riverlife alike.”

For commercial enterprises located in major cities and surrounding areas, drainage maintenance can often be an issue. This due to the fact that the sewer system has usually been in place for many years and as time has worn on, the drains can be damaged from blockages and general wear.

If the drains servicing your premises become blocked or are in need of repair work ,rather than having to keep calling out a drainage contractor every once in a while for something quite substantial, why not make use of an annual contract instead?

By tackling any problems before they are allowed to escalate, you can ensure that the drains around your building are constantly flowing and working as they should. You wouldn’t want anything to disrupt the work that you do and so a commercial contract with the drain specialists can really work out better in the long term.

This gives you peace of mind that sanitation in your commercial establishment will not become an issue and your facilities can continue to be used as they are at present, without any disruptions.

When you agree to this contract, you can expect a drain inspection to be carried out on a regular basis, with the pipework checked to see that everything is in full working order. They are also available at any time of the day or night for any type of drain emergency.