The Benefits of Sonar, from Subs to Drain Tracing

Sonar is all about sound propagation, and when used in drain tracing it is active, whereby emitted pulses give back echoes to help with acoustic location. The word sonar is originally an acronym for Sound Navigation And Ranging, and it first began to be used in the early part of the 20th century, possibly as a reaction to the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

How Active Sonar Works

Active sonar involves a transmitter for sound and a receiver. It creates sound in a pulse, known as a ping, which listens for echoes, or reflections of the pulse it has created. The echoes can be used to measure the bearing, or distance to an object.

With sonar drain tracing, the electrical pulses transmitted can help identify specific features of drain networks, which can then help in terms of diagnosing drainage issues and problems, or for helping to clarify details.


The Bigger Picture

There are key benefits to drain tracing when it comes to diagnoses and information-gathering.

For building projects of all sizes and kinds, drain tracing is a valuable planning tool. This is particularly true for projects involving building over existing drainage infrastructure. Many drains and drain networks are old, dating back to Victorian times. Consequently, plans may not always be up to date, or fully comprehensive.

Late discoveries of unexpected areas of the drainage network can be costly in terms of disruption and delays to a construction project, and any slippage in schedule can have serious knock-on effects.

Drain tracing therefore allows for greater pre-planning, by contributing to the bigger picture.


Clues to Collapsed Drains

Drains can deteriorate over time, and collapsed drains may occur following ground movement or the incursion of tree roots, rather than as a result of a specific, damaging episode.

On many properties, drains are closer to the surface than the main public sewer, making them more likely to suffer damage due to surface movements or ground instability.

Visible, surface signs of a collapsed drain can be depressions in the ground or specific damp patches. There may be no outward indication from how the drains are performing because the collapsed, damaged area can be further along from the property itself.

However, if left unrepaired, a collapsed drain can undermine building foundations, leading to subsidence.

Sonar drain tracing is ideal for identifying and diagnosing collapsed or damaged drains, and can also be useful in finding out enough in advance to help prevent a collapsed drain occurring.


If you want reassurance about your drainage system, contact Drainage Consultants today, and find out how our range of diagnostic and preventative drain measures can help you.

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