For some people, a drain is a thing of beauty. Sheffield has its own self-confessed drain spotter, who spends his time looking for rare sewer covers.

As part of a local preservation group, he works to retain public heritage features, including covers that date back to Victorian times.

While we can appreciate the detective work and attention to detail, our own work involves a different kind of drain inspection, including drain tracing, CCTV drain surveys and dye testing.


What We Need to Know

Admiring and studying drain covers is one thing, knowing where the drains actually run to is quite another. With construction projects, for example, it is often of vital importance to know sewer and drain network locations, because damaging an existing drain can have serious implications in terms of both time and expenditure.

The plans that are available giving details of the drainage network can often be out of date, particularly when you think that some drainage systems date back to Victorian times, hence the vintage drain covers.

It’s important, therefore, to have fully up to date knowledge of the drainage network.


Drain Tracing in Action

Finding where drains run to underground requires a degree of professional detection expertise, which is where our drain tracing services come in.

We have a range of drain tracing procedures we can employ, depending on the complexity of the individual situation.

Our main drain tracing technique involves the use of sonar. Here we transmit electronic pulses which enable us to take accurate readings about what kind of condition the drains are in, and where they are located.

Hand in hand with sonar drain tracing is our use of CCTV. We can send cameras down the drainage network in order to record the interior state of the pipework in a drain survey. This can help us identify problem areas and issues prior to undertaking any physical exploration work.

We also use a process known as dye testing for drains. This involves using a non-toxic liquid dye to indicate where there are leaks and blockages in the drain. It’s also useful in situations where we need to test how well the drainage system is connected. We can also use different coloured dyes for different sections of drain.

Drains may be a source of fascination for some, and frustration for others. For us, they’re our speciality, and we’re here to make sure they work properly.


If you have a drainage issue, or you need to find out more about your drainage network, don’t hesitate and contact Drainage Consultants today.

Problems encountered in one part of the year may not occur in another when it comes to your drains. For example, at the end of 2016 the winter was mild, which meant less chance of difficulties associated with frozen pipes, but it was exceptionally wet, leading to flooding and drainage difficulties.

When we’re not faced with troublesome weather we tend to take a step back, and become less concerned with things like drains. But it’s important to be prepared. So, when summer ends, are your drains in good working order for the winter months ahead?


The Benefits of a CCTV Drain Survey

There are a number of indicators of drainage problems, from unpleasant smells and persistent odours to backed up toilets and sinks. None of these things is pleasant to live with, which is why drainage problems tend to be treated as an emergency.

However, there may also be times when your drains are smelling or slow to work, but not to the extent that you’re massively inconvenienced. You shouldn’t get lulled into inaction because the problem seems limited. It’s often the case that smaller problems are indicators of worse to come, if you don’t take action.

For example, a leaking drain can lead to subsidence if untreated, which will seriously undermine a property’s foundations.

It’s the familiar stitch in time adage that applies here: having your drains inspected with a CCTV drain survey because you suspect there might be a problem can help prevent drain damage escalating into something far more serious.

What Do You Get from Your CCTV Drain Survey?

You’ll get to see what we see: the CCTV footage of your survey on a DVD, together with a full report about the state of your drains, and a recommended course of action.

Basically, we’re here to make things clearer, for you and for your drains. There’s a lot of old and faulty drainage pipework out there – make sure it isn’t yours.

Don’t get caught out when the seasons change and the weather takes its toll. If you’ve got any suspicion about your drains, book a CCTV survey with Drainage.


Consultants today, and take a big step forward to better drains and reassurance for the future.

If you run a business you need to have the assurance that all your facilities are working, particularly when it comes to the toilets. Businesses in the hospitality sector are particularly vulnerable if their toilets aren’t in use. It makes the customers unhappy, and it can mean having to close down until the problem is fixed.


Whose Pump Is It Anyway?

There is legislation imminently coming into effect that will transfer all pump stations to ownership of the main utilities companies. However, up to this time, there are still properties served by private pump stations, which makes the properties responsible for the pipe network.

In a recent case, we were called out to a pub where the toilets couldn’t be used by the customers because they were backed up. Not pleasant

Obviously this needed fixing urgently, so we set about diagnosing the problem. Public sewer connections can be a bit tricky, and when the drains block, the consequences are all to evident – you can smell the results!

We discovered that the pumps in the pump station serving the pub had overheated, tripping both switches.

This had resulted in the sewer pipe no longer taking the waste away from the pub toilets.

The first thing we needed to do was to reset the pumps. Once we did this and they started to work again, the levels of waste began to drop. After about one hour and 30 minutes, the backup had gone.

We could then check that the pipework was clear, including around the manholes. Once we were sure of this, we could leave the pump station to carry on in auto mode.

In the end the problem didn’t take too long to sort out, but the relative straightforwardness of the solution didn’t subtract from the seriousness of the situation with the pub toilets.


Interestingly, the client who called us out had a meeting booked with United Utilities the next day, which was another reason for the urgency of the task.


Drainage Consultants Ltd specialises in public sewer connections, along with a whole range of essential drain maintenance and repair services. Whether you’re a business, a homeowner or a landlord, call us for a quick, cost effective solution to your drainage problems.

Drainage issues are commonplace, which is why we work hard to fix them as soon as we can, because we understand that no one likes disruption. However, in some cases, a drainage investigation will be all the more urgent, depending on the location of the problem and who’s involved.


Trapped by the Overflow

Imagine being elderly and being trapped inside your own property. We were called to a house where an overflowing manhole was causing serious issues.

In this case, the location of the manhole, close to the front garden of the house, meant that the elderly resident was prevented from leaving by the disruption caused.

Clearly this was causing distress alongside the inconvenience. No one wants to feel besieged in their own home.

We soon worked out that whatever was causing the blockage outside the property was somewhere downstream of it, probably three metres or so. The next step was to locate the source of the problem and from there, work out how to fix it.



Our drainage investigation centred on the drain inspection chamber further downstream. It was clogged up with disposable wipes that had obviously been flushed down the toilet.

The thing with wipes is that some brands clearly state that they can be easily flushed away, but a drainage inspection will tell a very different story.

We cleaned out the inspection chamber and washed it down. And we carried out high pressure water jetting to completely clear the drain leading from the manhole outside the front of the property.

It’s always important to be really sure that the drain is completely clear, so we then tested the gully and pipeline by flushing water through it but at a normal, domestic flow-rate. This was testing the system under normal conditions and it was okay.


We can’t tell you how relieved the person in the house was – not only because we’d cleared the blocked manhole, but because they were now once again free to come and go through their own front door.


The motto of this story? Don’t take wipes for granted, because whatever convenience they offer might just be offset by the massive inconvenience of a blocked drain.