Work in Stalybridge at the junction of Dean Road and Trinity Street has just got underway to improve the Victorian sewer under the road.

United Utilities are spending £8 million on sewer improvements in Stalybridge and Dukinfield over the next few months in an attempt to improve the water quality in the River Tame. Currently, during times of heavy rainfall, waste water overflows into the river due to the Victorian sewer being unable to handle the volume of water.

The sewer under Trinity Street needs to be improved. United Utilities project manager, Steve Taylor, stated:

“We understand how inconvenient it is at this particular location, but we have absolutely no option. We need to construct a new overflow on the existing sewer, and the laws of drainage mean this is the exact spot where it has to be.

“We’re working very closely with the council highways department to minimise disruption, but the junction has had to be closed for the safety of the public and our engineers.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience and we would ask people to continue to support their local shops which are very much open for business, even with the road and bus route diversions in place.”

Pedestrian access will be maintained while the work takes place, but the road will be closed to traffic.

Drainage work in Levenshulme is currently being carried out by United Utilities to increase the size of the sewers, so they can carry a greater volume of water at times of heavy rainfall.

In the flood prevention scheme, the sewage system under Clare Road, Davenhill Road and Errwood Road is being replaced. The new sewers, which will be approximately four times bigger then the existing sewers, should stop the flooding problems these roads have seen in the past.

The £900,000 project will see the closure of Errwood Road for around five months. United Utilities project manager, Matthew Steer, stated:

“We’re doing this work to give peace of mind to those local homeowners who have lived with terrible problem of internal flooding with sewage when it rains heavily.

“We’re sorry for any temporary disruption while the major engineering work is carried out, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

“We’d ask people to bear with us throughout the road closure and diversion. Although Errwood Road is closed to through traffic, we will maintain access up to the work area for residents.”

The work is part of a £3.6 billion investment by United Utilities in the North West’s water and waste water systems.

Over the years, the drains that lead away from your property can reduce in diameter due to the accumulation of waste matter. If they are not cleaned or maintained, this can result in a blockage or flooding on your property.

Drainage maintenance is not something that should be ignored. And if you follow a few simple tips, you can keep on top of some of the simpler types of maintenance.

Sink maintenance

If you take care what items are put down the sink, you should avoid blockages for some years to come. Putting items such as food scraps and liquid fats down the sink is a sure way to start a blockage occurring. The waste matter can stick to the inside of the pipes and eventually cause a clog. If you make sure that you don’t put food or oils down the sink, and pour hot water down the sink on a regular basis, you can avoid a blockage. However, if it is too late and you already have a blocked waste pipe there are a few things you can try to unblock a blocked sink.

  1. Pour hot water down the sink
  2. Use a plunger
  3. Try a supermarket drain unblocking liquid
  4. Use a small sink drain rod

If all the above fail you can call specialist drainage contractors who have all the right equipment to solve blocked drains.

Dŵr Cymru, the Welsh water company, has just admitted responsibility for allowing raw sewage to enter a lake in Gwynedd.

The firm received a six month conditional discharge from magistrates in Caernarfon after sewage was found in Llyn Padarn Lake in Llanberis. It was also fined £3,800 costs for the spill which happen in April this year.

The Environment Agency brought the case against the water firm and said that the incident was disappointing. The impact to the lake it seems was at a minimum as there were no reports of any wildlife deaths and the general public were advised not to use the lake after the spill happened.

The north Wales area manager for the Environment Agency, David Edwell, stated:

“It’s disappointing that this happened, and in such an environmentally sensitive area and one that relies on the recreational use of the lake.”

However, Dŵr Cymru’s response has been positive, he said he has been:

“…encouraged that since this incident the company’s attitude towards its environmental obligations in the area has been positive,

“Prevention is better than cure, and we will be working closely with the company to try and prevent incidents of this type recurring,”

After pollution in a stream in Midhurst, Southern Water has repeated its statement to customers to not pour fats into their drainage systems.

Due to a built up of fatty deposits, a sewer became blocked causing raw sewage to escape through a manhole cover and find its way into a nearby stream in Midhurst.

The Environment Agency was informed of the incident by Southern Water.
Paul Kent the Wastewater Strategy Manager stated:

“Cooking fat tipped down the sink can spell disaster for our sewers. Over time, it builds up and solidifies, blocking the entire pipe. This can cause flooding as sewage is forced to escape through manholes and into streets and rivers or, even worse, into homes.

“Our message is that simple measures can slim down your chance of fat, oil and grease blocking sewers, and we can avoid the kind of pollution we saw in Midhurst yesterday.”

To stop fats entering the drainage system, residents can wait for any liquid fat to cool and solidify and then dispose of it in the general rubbish. Some local councils also have a waste fat recycling scheme available at their local recycling centre where residents can dispose of collected fats.

Work including the installation of a new sewer in Alsager has just been completed by United Utilities.
It is hoped that the new sewer system and the installation of an underground water storage tank by drainage contractors will protect homes by preventing flooding on Barrett Road, Linley Grove and Linley Road.

The installation of the huge storage tank will mean that during times of prolonged heavy rainfall the original sewer system should not be overwhelmed and flood risk will be reduced.

The Project Coordinator for United Utilities, Jason Boyd, stated:

“We are pleased to say that this essential work is now complete and there should be no further traffic disruption for local residents, which we know has been an issue for them whilst work has been ongoing.

“We would like to thank residents for their continued patience and understanding and we hope that our work will bring peace of mind to those who have been affected by the very unpleasant problem of sewer flooding.”

Further landscaping work needs to be done in the Linley Grove car park area, but this will be done in the spring when it will have the best chance to establish properly.

The company pledged to spend £2.9bn between 2005 and 2010 on environmental improvement and water quality projects.

Drain blockages can be caused by many different things. But one of the most common reasons for blocked drains is root intrusion into the pipe. Roots from surrounding trees and plants can find their way into the drainage system near your home and can not only block the waste pipe network; but also cause serious damage to the structure of the pipe itself. A drain maintenance company will be able to perform a CCTV survey on your drainage system to determine if this is the case and will then suggest a suitable remedy.

If you have a drain blockage that is caused by root intrusion, a professional drain maintenance company can remedy the problem by inserting a rotating cutting device powered by a high pressure jet of water into the pipe to remove the roots and restore the pipe back to its full waste carrying capacity. The roots commonly find their way into the system through the joints between the different sections of pipe. However, depending on the results of the CCTV survey, the pipe may also need a liner repair or replacing completely.

Root infiltration can cause untold havoc to the homeowner, so drains should be checked on a regular basis by a drain maintenance company to check for potential problems.

If you are the owner or manager of a large industrial or commercial facility, you will need to make sure that the waste water systems you have on site are maintained and are always in good working order. The large number of people you may have on site mean that disruptions to the drainage system will have a great impact on their ability to work and hence your ability to make a profit due to downtime. This is why it is so important that you have a drain maintenance contract in place.

As part of your maintenance contract, the drainage contractor will visit your premises out of normal working hours to carry out any preventative or remedial work. They will also be able to carry out detailed surveys of your drainage system and be able to advise you if repairs or replacement sections of the system will be needed in the future. Drainage contractors are available to call whenever you have a problem and can offer emergency services 365 days a year if necessary.

Having disaster recovery systems in place is now commonplace for most businesses in the UK. So, including a drain maintenance contract and an emergency call out into this system is one way that you can prepare for any issue should it occur.