Freeing the Prisoner of the Manhole

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.

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