We have already reported the news that a new law is to come into place from 1st October this year which will affect the ownership of sewer and wastewater pipes and where they are located. For homeowners, this can depend on the type of property they live in and when it was built.

What it means in practice is that should you find a blockage in the drains outside your property boundary, you may not be responsible for sorting the problem out any longer. It all refers to how the pipes connect to the main sewerage system and who should arrange for the drainage maintenance work to be done.

From the date above, the water company in your local area will have greater responsibility for the flow of wastewater from sinks and toilets through the pipes and into the sewers. However, this law change only applies to pipes outside the land you own which connects to the public sewer system.

Therefore, you will still have to ensure that the pipes within your property boundary are working as they should by carrying wastewater towards the public system. Any pipes connected to a private pumping station will remain the ownership of the person the land belongs to. It is still wise to consult with your drainage maintenance contractor to find out where the responsibility lies should you ever need to report a blockage.

When you enlist the services of a professional drainage contractor, they will have access to some of the very latest technology – including the ability to carry out CCTV drain surveys.

A survey such as this is able to provide detailed drain inspection. This means that whether the pipe or drain system is above or below ground (where it is not readily accessible for engineering repair work), the camera equipment will survey the scene, allowing the teams to find and identify any areas posing a problem.

This professional service utilises equipment which can scan bore pipes of varying sizes and examine exactly what is going on in there. Technology such as this is able to get to the root of the problem fast, thus saving a fair amount of money, not to mention effort too.

Once the site inspection work has been completed by the CCTV cameras used in the survey, the results will be displayed in the form of a report which is given to customers, along with full colour images showing them the precise conditions of the drains. The summary outlines any repair works which are recommended.

If given the go ahead, the drainage engineers will then get to work on repairing the pipes and lining them so the issue does not return again anytime soon.

Drainage problems generally only come to light when they start to affect us, but that isn’t to say they don’t start before then. If you have never had your drains inspected, it is worth hiring someone to carry out the task as it may prevent major problems in the future.

A standard drain inspection will involve first jetting the drains to clear away any significant debris and then putting a camera through to identify any major problems.

Many things might be found. Something as simple as a build-up of silt will be easily dealt with, while tree roots and broken sections of drain will be more complex. However, the key benefit is that you will be able to address these problems before they get out of hand.

Tree roots will often find a way into a drain as they are searching for moisture. Obviously, what starts as a small root is likely to develop over time and can cause greater structural damage to the pipe as a result. Similarly, a sharp edge inside a drain can lead to a gradual build-up of grime which might ultimately lead to a complete blockage, which will be hugely inconvenient.

Far better to address problems such as these early and the only way to identify them in the first place is by arranging a professional drain inspection.

Many homeowners don’t think to check their drainage systems until things start to go wrong, an oversight that could cost them a lot of money and trouble if their drains overflow.

Drainage systems can only work to their fullest potential if they are properly maintained. The build up of waste products can cause the diameter of the drainage pipe to reduce which over time can lead to a drain blockage.

Other things that can lead to blocked drains include:

  • The irresponsible disposal of ‘non-flushable’ items into the waste system
  • The disposal of liquid fats and grease into the drain
  • The build up of garden debris
  • Collapsed sewer pipes, due to age or damage
  • The build up of pipe scale

If a homeowner suspects that they have a blocked drain, it is always better to give a drain inspection company a call instead of waiting for the problem to worsen. They have all the necessary equipment at their disposal which they can use to deal with the blockage.

One of the most effective methods you can use to get rid of a drain blockage is high pressure water jetting. In this process the drain engineer directs a jet of high pressure water into the drainage system, which is usually enough to break down any clog that may be causing the problem.

Drain blockages can cause serious problems for homeowners if they are not dealt with quickly. If you have a serious blockage, the waste water and waste solids may find their way into your garden or even your home.

It’s for the reasons above that it’s important to have the telephone number of a professional drain cleaning company to hand. Drain cleaners are not commonly needed, but when they are, they need to respond to the problem quickly so the problem doesn’t worsen.

If you have a blocked drain, you should call a drain cleaning company straight away. They will be able to visit your premises and jet the drain to remove the problem causing blockage.

Sometimes blockages in waste pipes are caused by a pipe collapse or root intrusion into the pipe. Drainage engineers can look into your drainage system using CCTV survey equipment to locate problems like this and are then able to discuss suitable remedial action.

It’s not always the case that a problem with a drain will need excavation. Sometimes a drain liner can be inserted into the drainage system, which can repair damage to a section of pipe and the existing drain can be left in situ.

There can be many causes of a blocked drain. But while drain jetting may remove a blockage it is usually impossible to find out what caused the blockage unless a CCTV survey is carried out.

A CCTV survey is the only definitive way a drain inspection company will be able to determine the cause of your drain blockage or the condition of the interior of your pipes. The camera equipment used by drainage experts will be able to examine the internal structure of the pipe in detail and relay the images to a computer where the drainage expert will be able to view them in real time.

A detailed report can be made on the condition of the drainage system with any recommendations made by the drainage company on what needs to be done to bring the pipe network up to standard.

It may be the case that your drainage system is in a good state of repair and the blockage, once removed, might have been the only problem. It could be the case however that the drain needs to be relined or a section of the drain will have to be repaired. In any of these cases your drain inspection engineer will be able to help.

In the last article we discussed the common ways drains can be blocked by putting incorrect substances into your kitchen sink. Here we will discuss what can and cannot be put into the drainage/sewer system from the bathroom.

Nappies and sanitary wear

Many people think that it is ok to put sanitary wear and nappies down the toilet. It’s not. Flushing things like this down the toilet will result in a blockage. The only things that should be put into the toilet are waste products and toilet tissue. Even putting kitchen roll or cotton wool balls into the toilet can cause a blockage so this should also be avoided.


When you have a shower or a bath it’s amazing how much hair can end up in the drainage system. For this reason you should use a plug hole filter over your plug holes in the bath and sink if possible, so hair does not find its way into the system and clog the pipes.

There are of course some occasions that your waste pipes may become blocked for another reason than those already stated. If they do, you should call a drain inspection engineer to have a look at the problem so they can solve the problem and repair or unblock the drainage system.

If you have a blocked drain, the consequences can be nothing more than devastating for the homeowner, in some cases waste water can actually flood into your home. However, most of the blockages that occur in your drainage pipes at home can be avoided by being careful about what you put into your drainage system and following a few simple hints and tips.

In this two part article, we are going to discuss what should not be put down the drain and give you some advice on what you can do to stop drain blockages.

Most drain blockages are caused by the homeowner intentionally or unintentionally putting things into the drainage system that should not be there.

Food stuffs and oil

Many people scrape scraps of food into the kitchen sink and pour waste cooking oil into the drainage system. Both these practices will cause a drain blockage.

Cooking oil and fats will solidify in the drainage system and cause the flow of waste water to be reduced. If enough of these types of substances are put into the drainage system, it can block the pipes totally. Cooking oils and fats should be put into a container and when set should be disposed of in the general waste.

Scraping waste food down the drain can also cause blocked pipes under your sink. Food scraps should always be scraped in the bin. If you use a sink filter over your plug hole, any food that unintentionally finds its way into the sink will be caught by the filter and can be disposed of in the bin.

Continued in part 2.

The Drainage Consultants were approached and asked to submit a price for the clean and survey of the below ground drainage system at Manchester Airport. As part of this project, it was necessary to identify interceptors.

After quoting, the Drainage Consultants were considered the best for the job and will begin work in a few weeks’ time. The first step is obviously the clean and survey, after which a report will be compiled for the client, highlighting any problems and defects together with a price for repairs.

A clean and survey involves first jet washing the drains. Water is forced through the drainage system at high pressure, removing any build-up of grime and debris. This is a safe method that ensures cleaner drains without posing any risk to the pipework.

Having carried out this first stage, the drains are then surveyed using CCTV. A camera is passed through the pipework which then transmits the images for examination. Any damaged or suspect areas can then be noted and added to the report.

When the client receives the report, they can then judge whether additional work is needed or not. If it is, it is a straightforward task to go ahead and make repairs as the damaged areas have already been identified.

The Drainage Consultants were recently hired to carry out a clean and survey of drains on an industrial site in Dukinfield. The job involved cleaning the system with high pressure water jets before examining the pipework via CCTV.

This is a fairly typical way of starting a job, the aim of which is to maintain the pipework and identify any flaws in it as well as any potential issues that may ensue. During the course of the work, a problem was identified with a culvert watercourse running underneath the units. The culvert was eight metres deep and was beginning to collapse. To deal with the problem, the culvert’s location under the units was traced and an excavation carried out around where it was collapsing. The excavation was over a 12m by 8m area, after which repairs could be made.

Having carried out the repair work, a 70m liner was then inserted. This might have been the point where many drainage companies would have left the job, but the Drainage Consultants cured the full length of the 70m liner with UV light as well. The liner is impregnated with a UV-reactive polyester resin which provides superior performance.