When blockages occur in the sewer network they can be spectacular. Recently, in London, a routine inspection discovered a fatberg the size of two double decker buses blocking a section of the ancient sewer network.

It stretches the length of two football pitches, and is requiring concentrated, seven days a week work efforts to remove it, using shovels and high powered water jets.

What are Fatbergs Made Of?

Typically, these masses of waste comprise things such as congealed fat, nappies and wet wipes – what people routinely put down the drain or flush down the toilet.

These are items that won’t break down in the drainage system, but instead add to congealed masses that keep growing, until you have a worst-case scenario.

The larger the fatberg becomes, the harder it is to get rid of, some compare it to trying to break down a huge lump of concrete.

This type of waste can build up quickly, particularly where cooking oil and fat is concerned. And plenty of supposedly disposable items, such as wet wipes, will still block drains.

This large-scale problem is reflected on a smaller scale in numerous properties where drains steadily become clogged with unsuitable items for flushing or draining way.

How to Prevent the Build Up

One solution is quite simple: don’t pour cooking oil and fat down the kitchen sink. This can be exacerbated at busy times for cooking, such as Christmas, and affects both homes and commercial premises such as restaurants.

People should also be careful what they choose to flush down the toilet: things like cotton wool buds may look small and harmless, but they can easily build up and contribute to a significant blockage.

The damage may already have been done, and even if your drains are not completely blocked, they may be dysfunctional, draining slowly persistently, and giving off bad smells.

If this is the case, then your next course of action should be to get a drain survey. This is a cost-effective means of thoroughly inspecting your drains to get a clear picture of what is wrong with them.

We use state-of-the-art CCTV technology for this, and it allows us to diagnose your drainage issues.

Combat the threat of blocked drains with a drain survey. Contact Drainage Consultants today if you think you’ve got drainage problems.

Not all drainage problems are manmade, as nature plays its part in causing damage to drains.

Trees are a major cause of blocked drains and sewage networks. This is because tree roots can cause long-term damage to drains and, if left unattended, this can then lead to building subsidence.

Why are Trees Attracted to Drains?

Moisture forms on drainpipes from condensation. It can also come from leaking joints in the pipework. This moisture attracts tree roots. Sometimes there are excavations close by, and these make it easier for the roots to burrow into the ground to reach pipes.

Typically, the roots will follow the course of the excavation trenches originally in place to lay the pipework.

Once the tree roots reach the pipes they can end up making further inroads through joints in the pipework, or entering where there are fractures and cracks.

What Damage Can There Be?

Most drainage networks use clay pipes with joints made up of sand and cement. Trees can enter this type of pipework. If they do, they can then, over time, reduce the bore, or diameter, of the pipe, making it less effective at its job of carrying drain water away.

Tree root incursion may also fracture the pipework, which will then cause it to leak. Leaking pipework, if not within the property but under the ground, can eventually undermine a building’s foundations.

How a Drain Survey Helps

If a property is located near trees, or has trees within its boundary, then a drain survey is essential for finding out if the tree roots are burrowing near, or into, the property’s pipework.

Ultimately, the aim is to be preventative, but even if damage has already occurred, getting to it sooner rather than later can save a lot of trouble and expense.

A drain survey is there to give answers, uncover problems and reassure homeowners and landlords when it comes to protecting property in the long-term.

Don’t gamble with your property’s future. A drain survey is cost-effective, quick and efficient. Contact Drainage Consultants to arrange yours.

We like to grumble about the weather in the UK, especially the amount of rainfall we get. However, the onset of excessive rain should also serve as a warning about our drains and whether drainage networks can cope.

Wetter weather now seems to be a fact of life, but when it gets serious, if drains aren’t up to the job, flooding can follow.

It’s therefore crucial to maintain drains, and this is where a drain survey plays such a vital role.

What is in Our Control?   

Acts of God is a legal term, describing events that happen without manmade involvement, such as floods and other extreme weather events.

While it is true that certain aspects of flooding, rainfall for example, are outside the remit of anyone’s control, there are things we can do to mitigate its worst effects.

Drains are essential for helping deal with groundwater and ensuring it runs off into reservoirs. If drains are inadequate to this task, it can lead to flooding.

At the same time, if wastewater drains are not properly functional, in times of excessive wet weather, they can overflow due to the inability of the system to cope.

Backed up wastewater is unpleasant, and a potential health hazard.

Check Your Drains

If you have any notion that your drains are not functioning properly, now is the time to act – before any crisis with them occurs.

You might be experiencing bad smells from your drains, or notice that water takes longer to drain from a sink.

You can also find that persistent wet weather can damage older drain networks over time, leading to collapsed drains.

A drain survey, using CCTV technology, is an ideal way to discover if there are issues with your drainage network. This is a cost-effective means of inspecting your drains without resorting to digging up land for exploratory purposes.

It allows us to see what’s going on, and to record it.

We can then compile a comprehensive report on your drainage network, with an accompanying DVD of our CCTV footage.

It’s best to ensure your drains are prepared for wet weather. Contact Drainage Consultants today for your drain survey.

Is Big Brother watching you, and does it matter? The issue about the surveillance society keeps cropping up, along with the question of whether it matters when we’re being captured on CCTV so much of the time.

But for drains and drainage issues, surveillance is undoubtedly a good thing.

The CCTV drain survey is an essential diagnostic tool in discovering otherwise hidden issues affecting drain networks.

The Benefits of Spying

Context is the thing that makes all the difference with surveillance and spying. CCTV cameras are used routinely in medical procedures and for diagnostic purposes and no one complains about it.

The same is true for drainage. By using CCTV technology, we can discover more about drains, and save both time and money in the process.

Without CCTV technology, we might need to conduct exploratory excavation work, and the whole process of finding the root causes of drainage issues can be lengthier, and involve more resources, and expense.

There can be tricky location factors, where buildings and other utilities cause complications in diagnosing drainage issue. And where there are construction and refurbishment projects, existing drainage plans can often be out of date.

A CCTV drain survey provides much-needed answers about drainage networks.

How CCTV Works for Drains

Using specially developed technology, we can send a camera down the drainage network and remotely record its progress. This will provide valuable information regarding the state of the drains, including where there are any damaged areas.

It also means we can get an up-to-date picture regarding inspection chambers and manhole entry points.

CCTV allows us to put together up to date plans of drainage networks, and, where necessary, provide full DVD footage to accompany our findings.

Where work is required, this data provides a full, diagnostic background to any proposed plan of action.

Our customers get full visibility, both of the drainage network, and of our plans and what we base our quotations on.

Facilities that work are essential to pretty much all buildings, and drainage is one such facility. We don’t think about how they work, until they stop working. Then we notice.

It might be the smell, or the fact that they’re not draining, or are fully backed up. Whatever the reason, once a drain stops working it becomes a priority. What you require is a drainage inspection.

Sometimes this means diagnosis, through a CCTV drain survey, or at other times, more direct action straight away.

This is what happened recently, as a result of a pump station failure at a business park.


A Timely Intervention

We were called to a pub where they were unable to use any of their facilities. Not only this, but they had an imminent meeting scheduled on site and so required a same-day resolution.

In situations like this one, whereas we might normally commission a CCTV drain survey to get a clear idea of the cause of the problem, here time was going to be an issue.

What we needed to do was act swiftly and decisively.

On arriving on site, we discovered that the pump station was no longer working. This was due to the pumps overheating, and therefore tripping out.

Down the line, this meant that in the pub, the drainage levels were not dropping.


The Solution

This was a case of setting the pumps in reverse to remove any blockages. Once this had happened, we could reset the pumps to begin working again as normal.

The levels dropped, and the pub had its toilets working again. All in time for the important meeting with a utilities provider on site the next day.

The entire job took us one and a half hours, to remove the back-up from the system and drop the pump station’s levels.

A final check revealed the manholes were all clear, and the pub had its full flow restored.

Sometimes drainage issues call for a quick solution. Contact Drainage Consultants for your drainage inspection.

House price inflation continues its seemingly unstoppable rise, according to figures for the year to April 2017. This despite reports from mortgage lenders that the market was slowing down.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that the average house price in the UK increased by 5.6% in the year to April – a six month high.

Property is a serious investment, whether that’s the reason you’re buying it or not. But if you’re considering buying, or if you need to sell, how do you ensure that you’re maintaining that value?

A CCTV drain survey is one way of protecting your property investment and these are becoming increasingly commonplace for home buyers.

Not Just About Buildings

Whereas a structural survey will tell you about the condition of your property, whether buying or selling, it won’t look at the infrastructure serving the property, in particular the drains.

Why are drains important? Having a drain in a poor condition can indicate problems later on, such as leaks and blockages.

Moreover, there can be hidden dangers with damaged drains. A collapsed drain, for example, may not be obvious, but it could be leaking water into the surrounding ground which will then undermine the foundations of the property.

To help prevent issues like subsidence, therefore, a CCTV drain survey can play an essential role.

What is Involved?

A CCTV drain survey involves us sending a camera down your drains to view and record the internal state of the drainage network.

This gives us the information to help us compile a comprehensive report on the condition of your drains, including the CCTV footage we’ve taken on a DVD.

A drain survey will reveal the structural condition of your drains and allow us to conduct a full analysis.

If there are misconnections, the survey will reveal them. We can also detect rat infestation from the survey information.

Normal surveyors typically do not have the necessary specialist equipment to carry out a thorough drain survey, but many mortgage lenders and insurers now require a drainage survey.

Ideally, you should arrange your CCTV drain survey well in advance of exchange of contract.

If you want to protect your property, contact Drainage Consultants today to arrange a CCTV drain survey.

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.

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.

You might think with most drainage issues it’s simply a case of phoning your local plumber. You might also think that a drain survey sounds too complex, and expensive, to be worth your while. Can’t the plumber sort it out?
Drainage Expertise
The difficulty with drains is often that while you can see there’s a problem inside your home – a sink that takes ages to drain, for example – the cause of it will be I the drainage network, underneath your property.
So, while your plumber will be fine for replacing pipework and taps inside, or leading into, your property, for serious drainage issues, you need experts in this field.
This is because, to accurately detect and diagnose many drainage issues, requires the right equipment and techniques – those of a drainage contractor rather than a plumber.
One such specialist method at our disposal is the drain survey.
Symptoms, Detection and Diagnosis
You might have smelly drains, or baths and sinks that take a while to empty. These are signs of having blocked drains.
There can also be drainage issues that are not immediately noticeable, but can cause long-term damage to your property, such as a collapsed or leaking drain. This kind of deterioration can, ultimately, undermine your property’s foundations, leading to subsidence.
Collapsed drains can arise from tree root incursion, and this is not something you would necessarily notice.
This is where a drain survey is a vital tool in discovering drainage problems. By sending a CCTV camera down your drainage network and analysing what we’re seeing as it happens, we can get a much clearer picture of the state of your drains, revealing damaged areas or blockages.
Your drains may require re-lining, or even replacing. A drain survey will give us the information we need to get a clear idea of the action we need to take to sort your drains out.
This is not something your plumber can do.
If you suspect you have any of the symptoms of a blocked or damaged drain, get the experts in. Contact us today.

Make no mistake: for many water companies, disposable wipes are the enemy. Disposable wipes are essentially an evolution of baby wipes, designed to appeal to the adult market.
One of their chief appeals is their disposability. However, in 2016, UK water firms wrote to the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) urging it to investigate the issue of wet wipes clogging up the nation’s drains.
In many cases, a CCTV drain survey is essential to discover the cause, and location, of the blockage.
Water companies want manufacturers of moist toilet tissues and other non-biodegradable wipes to clearly and prominently label them as not flushable.
Consequences of Wet Wipes
Because many moist wipes are not paper-based, like standard toilet tissue, they are not dissolvable. They may also, over time, release plastics into the environment, with long-term consequences for the human food-chain.
Some urban drainage systems are quite resilient, but many are old, some even Victorian, and are therefore not equipped to deal with this kind of waste.
One danger of having some wipes labelled as disposable, whether they really are or not, is that it leads to the assumption that most, if not all, wipes are.
This further clogs up the drainage system.
Water companies feel it would be more environmentally responsible to remove flushable from all packaging of these products, to avoid consumers making the wrong assumptions about them.
Water companies in the UK spend around £88 million annually clearing drains, and estimate that half of these blockages are avoidable.
The Diagnosis for Drains
While water companies may feel that disposable moist wipes should be a national issue, it is often at the local level where the impact is felt.
If you are experiencing issues with your drainage, whether you’re a commercial concern, or it’s your home, then you may have long-term drainage issue that cannot simply be shifted.
This is where a CCTV drain survey is essential. This allows us to see what’s going on in the inside of your drainage network, and whether you have damaged or blocked drains.
It forms the basis for a comprehensive drainage report, up to date plans, and a recommended course of action to sort your drains out.
Disposability may feel convenient, but the consequences for drains are serious.
If your drains are in need of attention, please contact Drainage Consultants for a CCTV drain survey.