Drainage problems are going to be difficult to spot with the naked eye because, naturally, they usually occur below ground. You might easily notice the symptom, such as water not draining, or foul smells, but you won’t be able to work out the cause.

This is why state-of-the-art drain detection equipment and technology is so essential. One of the methods we use to detect drainage problems is drain tracing.

 Locating a Drainage Problem

 Drains are not always easy to locate. Often there are no up to date plans of a drainage network, so we have to do our own knowledge-gathering.

Finding the drains is one thing, diagnosing the problem is another.

Fortunately, we have the right tools for the job. We can use CCTV cameras for a drain survey, but that is far from the limit of the technology at our disposal.

We can also locate drains and drainage problems using sonar drain tracing techniques.

Whereas a CCTV drain survey will indicate what a problem is, drain tracing enables us to pinpoint exactly where it is in the drainage system.

How Sonar Drain Tracing Works

We use our specialist equipment to transmit electronic pulses which bounce off the drain, allowing us to read its location. This is essentially making use of an echo as a location tool.

The transmitter goes into the drain, while we use a receiver above ground to read the pulses.

We can use sonar to pinpoint where the defects shown on the CCTV footage are, and we can use it to locate concealed manholes and inspection chambers, as well as to ascertain the exact depth of a drain.

The Benefits of Drain Tracing

 With sonar drain tracing we can eliminate guesswork, making it easier for us to accurately quote for the work you need us to do. The information we gather means we can work more efficiently and eliminate the need for exploratory excavation we have to do.

It is therefore crucial in the planning stage, and it helps us avoid any unpleasant surprises which might otherwise delay or disrupt a project – and make it cost more.

So, for a less disruptive, more efficient and cost effective means of detecting drainage problems, drain tracing is ideal.

If you have an issue with your drains, we can sort it out for you. Contact Drainage Consultants today.

Research from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt Academy suggests that the increased run-off water from paved gardens could eventually overwhelm the UK’s drainage system.
This makes maintaining and inspecting drains a critical issue. One way of helping ensure drains are working properly is with a CCTV drain survey.
What Does the Future Hold for Drainage?
More and more people are paving over their front gardens, principally to provide additional car-parking space. This increase in paved gardens has serious implications for drainage.
The long-term impact of climate change is likely to be more extreme weather, including storms, with plenty of concentrated rainfall.
In such circumstances, with reduced ground absorbency due to paved gardens, the rain run-off will flow into the drainage system, which will be unable to cope with the excess.
The increased volume of run-off, by 2080, could see Edinburgh experience the equivalent of 12 Olympic swimming pools in excess water, according to the research.
Associate professor at Heriot-Watt, Dr David Kelly has pointed out that domestic front gardens make up some 30% of urban space, and therefore play a vital role in surface drainage. As traditional front lawns disappear, so the risk of flooding increases.
Acting Now to Protect Drainage
What measures will alter this crisis scenario? There are various forms of absorbent surface technology involving porous stone and other materials, but it is also vital that drains are kept in good working order.
A CCTV drain survey is now a well-established means of checking drainage networks and people’s domestic drains.
It allows for an inspection of a drain without extensive preparatory excavations taking place, making it both efficient and cost-effective.
For your future peace of mind, you must ensure that your drains are working as well as they should be. Drains can deteriorate over time. You can even have a collapsed drain on your property and not know about it – if your drain is underground it might be leaking into the ground and can eventually undermine your house’s foundations.
Drainage may be set to become a big issue for the future, but you can act now to protect your property with a CCTV drain survey.

You might not realise you have a problem with your drains until the problem has got so serious that it’s going to take a lot of time, resources and money to put right.

Drainage problems can be a hidden cost, partly because the problems can build up beneath ground, and partly because these problems are often cumulative.
A drain survey can help identify drainage problems early; and it can provide an accurate means of drainage detection to provide an effective diagnosis to allow to work to commence as soon as possible.

What’s Going on Underground?

There are various things that can go wrong with a property’s drains. Some will be down to damage, some deterioration over time. There may also be historic issues with the drainage network if building work, extensions or renovations have disturbed it.

Collapsed or broken drains may not be immediately obvious, but a drain leaking into the ground can lead to building subsidence, as the water gradually erodes the ground around foundations.

Tree roots can cause drain damage, as they are drawn towards the moisture coming off the drain. Eventually the roots can penetrate the drain, or cause movement that causes it to misalign.

Unfortunately, drains can also attract rodents, and lead to infestation in a property.
Misuse of drains by putting the wrong things down them leads to blockages, sometimes over a prolonged period of time. Fat and grease build-up in drains is a common cause of blocked drains.

Exposing Drainage Problems

There is a way to see inside drains, and this is by sending a CCTV camera down into them. CCTV drain surveys make the detection and diagnosis of drainage problems that much more straightforward.

The camera picks up faults in the system as well as helping us to put together an accurate, up to date picture of the drainage network. We can supplement this process with sonar drain tracing and dye testing, which means we avoid having to undertake costly excavations just to locate problem areas.
Think of a drain survey as an investment in your drains and, ultimately, your property. And it can save you money: by spotting problems earlier on, which otherwise might be more disruptive; and by making the whole process of remedial work faster, more efficient and less disruptive. These efficiency savings we can pass on to you, the customer.

If you only suspect you have a drainage issue, don’t delay. Contact Drainage Consultants to arrange your drain survey.

Sometimes drain problems are issues that linger, rather than being sudden, dramatic events. This doesn’t mean they’re any less severe, but that they can be harder to detect, until they’re much more serious because they’ve got that much worse.
A collapsed drain can be severe, and the longer you leave it, the costlier it will be to fix.
Detecting collapsed drains means using the right technology, which is why a CCTV drain survey can be essential. Before this, though, what are the signs that you might have a collapsed drain?
Poorly Performing Drains
Are your drains suddenly not performing as well? Whereas sluggish drains can mean you have a blockage, they can also be a symptom of a collapsed drain. In fact, a collapsed drain could be the cause of a blockage. If this is the case, then not only will you need to remove the blockage, but you will also need to ensure the drain is repaired too.
If you spot any signs of slow drainage, then you should arrange for a drain survey.
Backed-up Sewage
Not a pleasant one, this, but a collapsed drain may mean that your drains are frequently backing up. The extent will depend on the severity of the problem, but a drainage inspection is essential, because the longer you leave it, the worse it will get.
Damp Signs
Disrupting water flow leads to water flowing into the ground around the collapsed pipe. This might appear as damp on the walls or floor of your property. If you do have signs of damp, you must act. If you leave damp unattended, it can develop into a serious problem.
Most importantly, you need to find the source of the damp, and if this is a collapsed drain, have it repaired.
Bad Smells
The unmistakeable smell of sewage is an early warning of a collapsed or damaged drain – the smell is from backed-up sewage or blockages. If you have a blockage cleared and you can still smell something, it’s probably a collapsed drain.
That Sinking Feeling
Over time, the ground around a collapsed drain will subside or sink. For this to be visually obvious usually means you’ve had damaged pipe for some time. Water leaking out into the ground surrounding the collapsed drain will eventually cause a visible indentation.
Cracks and Defects
The more serious the damage, the more severe and widespread the symptoms. You might see cracks appearing along the floor or up the walls of your property. This is only likely to happen if the defective drain has been left in a disrepair for a considerable length of time.
If the drain runs under concrete driveway slabs, or under a concrete garage, you might see cracks appearing here.
The key thing is to act. Contact Drainage Consultants today if you think you’ve got drainage problems. Our CCTV drain survey will help us get to the bottom of it for you.