THE MONSTER FATBERG FIGHTS BACK! DRAIN CCTV SURVEY SHOWS THE EXTENT OF THE FATTY MASS!

THE MONSTER FATBERG FIGHTS BACK! DRAIN CCTV SURVEY SHOWS THE EXTENT OF THE FATTY MASS!

For this blog we look at the fatberg that set up home under the streets of Kingston. As you can no doubt imagine we were as shocked as the nation when we saw this on television and read about it in the paper! The CCTV survey of the Kingston sewer first emerged back at the start of August and very quickly became on online and media talking point as the footage showed the extent of the 15 foot, bus sized lard ball. The huge lump even has its own Twitter account now – @KingstonFatberg and was posting tweets such as “Squatters rights mate, you can’t touch me”! It was reported in the news that workers had to spend 10 nights removing the mass which was clinging to the top of the sewer pipe using high pressure jet hoses. From experience and dealing with much smaller blockages in the past, it’s definitely NOT a nice job! The congealed lard mass had been growing in drains beneath a road in Kingston, SW London before being discovered by a Thames Water CCTV Drain Survey which was carried out after local residents were complaining that they were unable to flush their toilets. Due to the size of the fatberg, the sewer had been reduced right down to just 5% of its normal activity – had the sewer become completely blocked the effects of this could have been serious with raw waste / sewage flooding the streets – not nice. The fatberg was made up of a mixture of food waste, fat and sanitary wipes, and this really does highlight just how important it is...
RAT INFESTATIONS & VERMIN CONTROL

RAT INFESTATIONS & VERMIN CONTROL

With Spring on our doorstep we turn our attentions slightly away from drainage issues; (but still connected to drainage) and focus on a problem that isn’t always obvious until it’s too late – the dreaded rat infestation. Gross or not, Spring is generally the most active season for rats and breeding, and it’s this time of the year that you should consider checking your home and sewer system to ensure there are no potential entry points for the little critters. We have compiled a list of rat facts and figures below to help you ensure your business, home, garden or other areas around your property are safe from rats. Living and Breeding • Rats will eat anything for survival but they do prefer fresh food such as meat and grains such as rice, lentils, rolled oats, etc. • Rats will burrow under buildings, along fences, live by railway lines and burrow through vegetation and debris. • A female rat can have up to six litters of 12 young per year – that’s an astonishing 72 rats per female … gross! • Rats begin breeding 3 months after birth. • The lifespan of a rat is approximately 18 months. Rat Movement • Rats can enter a building through a gap as small as ½ inch diameter. • It is a known fact amongst some that rats are good swimmers and will enter buildings through broken drains and sewers. • Rats will climb in order to access food, water or shelter. • Rats are creatures of habit and routine – this means that they will follow standard routines and pathways –...
OUR TOP 10 TIPS FOR BLOCKED DRAINS

OUR TOP 10 TIPS FOR BLOCKED DRAINS

Blocked Drains – The Drainsmart Guide To Cure & Prevention In this months blog we cover the mucky issue of blocked drains and how you can prevent them. The following tips should help you to clear a blocked drain or sink but we’re always on the end of the phone if you want any advice. 1) Check if your drains are shared with any neighbours. If they are a blockage will be the responsibility of the Local Water Authority to clear, free of charge. 2) If the problem is an overflowing gully (taking the kitchen sink, bath or rainwater pipes) the blockage could simply be a clogged grating which can be easily removed with a screwdriver. You’ll be surprised how many times we are called out to these only to spend 2 minutes fixing the problem. 3) If you are handy and have a set of rods (and a strong stomach) you can try rodding through from the manholes. You should always first try to establish the point of blockage by lifting all the manholes to work out where to rod from. 4) If you don’t have a set of rods – get some. Most household drain blockages can be cleared quite easily with rods and you can buy a set for £30.00-£40.00 from most good hardware stores. This would be far cheaper than a call out and you’ll have them for next time or for general maintenance of your system. 5) Most drainage systems are fairly simple and if you have a manhole in your front garden it is likely that the drains run through it to the...
THE IN’S & OUT’S OF CCTV DRAIN SURVEYS

THE IN’S & OUT’S OF CCTV DRAIN SURVEYS

CCTV Drain Surveys – What Are They? Drains aren’t necessarily the most interesting of subjects to discuss, however when you encounter a problem with your residential (or commercial) drainage system, it suddenly becomes hot topic not only because you now find yourself with defective drains / pipework, but also because the element of unknown creeps in – what are the issues, how do you go about fixing it and, if an insurance company is involved, how do you make sense of what they have advised. We are a helpful bunch at Drainsmart – so much so that we will be posting periodical blogs and guides to discuss and answer the many questions we get asked on a frequent basis and most of all to provide some clarity amongst the many concerns and worries that are often roused due to defective and damaged drains. For this blog we will be looking at the process involved in CCTV Drain Surveys. It all sounds very technical (to some at least!) when we talk about using our CCTV system to investigate that mysterious blockage and to unravel the reasons why your toilet or sink isn’t flowing as it should, but in fact it’s all pretty simple stuff. We start the whole process by unloading lots of different equipment from our van, usually onto your patio or driveway as this is where most manhole covers can be found, and if it’s not here its typical that they can be found in the most inaccessible, hard to access areas, but hey, that’s the nature of the job! Once we have everything ready, the next step...
Help my house is falling down

Help my house is falling down

It is very common that people do not realise that they have a drain problem and this leads to disastrous consequences. A recent edition to Channel 4’s ‘Help My House Is Falling Down’ (series 2, episode 3) with host Sarah Beeney, covered a couple living in Swinton, Greater Manchester. Following the purchase of their house in 1999, serious cracks began to appear at the side of the building and to the ceilings. Numerous attempts were made to patch up the cracks but the problem deteriorated, even to the point that the floor in one room sloped by 75mm. Over the next 10 years the owners carried out a series of repairs and re-decoration following poor advice from several builders, spending £50,000 in the process. The problems continued however and as Swinton is a former mining town it was feared that a collapsing mine shaft was responsible. In desperation they contacted the Channel 4 programme and Sarah Beeney called in several specialists to investigate. Space age sonar equipment quickly ruled out the mine shaft theory and then it was the run of the drainage contractor to inspect the drains. A CCTV camera inspection revealed a simple break in the rainwater gully drain at the side of the house which had allowed water to escape and soften the ground below the foundations. Other drainage defects were also discovered and the owners were charged £3,000 to replace the damaged pipework. With the movement now halted the super structure repairs to the walls were carried out and the house was redecorated and returned to a habitable building. The couple were relieved to have...