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What are Sewer and Drain Clearing Services?

When water is flowing unexpectedly from the kitchen sink or the toilet bowl is clogged and your home is being invaded by a foul smell – you need the help of a professional. After all, no matter how you ignore a clogged drain or blocked sewer, the problem won’t go away on its own! It’s also not a task that you will be excited to do on your own. How do you find a reliable professional to resolve all your sewer and drain issues? Read on.


Why Should I Worry About Drain and Sewer Clearing?

Many homeowners think that drainage and sewage system are not their problem. They believe that the repair and upkeep should be managed by the water company or local authorities. To better understand who is responsible for the drainage and sewage system that you use. Review your property’s title documents to understand where the sewers and drains are located within your home and vicinity, as well as the one who will be responsible for maintenance and repair.

Whether you own the home or renting an apartment, you must be aware of your responsibilities and liabilities. For those renting, you should know that the sewage and drainage systems are the responsibility of the landlord.

In general, sewage systems are considered both private and public. The water company manages the upkeep and repair of the sewerage system from the point the public sewerage system meets every residential or private plumbing and sewerage system. There are some cases where a private sewerage and drainage system will not connect directly to the public sewerage system. Instead, it will connect first to a private network of sewers and then link to the community sewage system.

The water service provider is responsible for the network of pipes built before 1937, as well as any shared network of pipes that they are using.

In the UK, around 50% of properties and homes are linked to private sewerage systems so property owners will be responsible for the upkeep of the drainage and sewerage system. Private sewerage systems are shared pipes that serve private properties built after 1937. The main difference between public and private sewerage systems is that the latter is not built following the standards of government-managed public sewers thus problems may arise from the way private pipes were constructed.

If the property is newly-built, you may likely experience fewer drainage and sewerage problems. House contractors were required since 2002 to build sewerage systems based on industry standards. Government authorities may eventually require water companies to handle the upkeep and repair of private sewers. However, at this time, homeowners are still responsible for managing private sewers and drainage systems.

If your property connects to a private sewer, the responsibility of upkeep will be shared by you and other property owners.

Will I Be Able to Fix Drainage and Sewerage Problems On My Own?

Simple sewerage or drainage work may be managed by homeowners. For example, if you are having difficulty draining dishwater, you can simply make sure that the sink is not getting clogged by excess food and debris in the u-bend.
If the blockage, however, is a major one, resolving the problem on your own may actually worsen the situation. Or worse, you risk injuring yourself by trying to DIY repair the clogged sink. During these times, do not hesitate to call the professionals!

Ready to get a quote from local tradespeople?

What are the Available Drainage and Sewerage Clearing Services?

Unblocking the drain

A simple drain block will be cleared by a specialist with ease by utilising drain rods. A set of these drain rods will connect to become longer and make it possible to insert the rod into a sewerage or drainage pipe.

Another method that specialists will deploy is High-Pressure Water Jetting (HPWJ) or jet vacuumation. This method of clearing pipes is preferred because it is effective and less intrusive. Clogged material is cleared by manipulating the flow and pressure of water. Some chemical solvents may be added to dissolve fat and other insoluble particles.

Cleaning the drain

High-Pressure Water Jetting or HPWJ is also utilized to resolve drainage problems. It is an effective method of clearing drains on a regular basis while preventing material build-up which will eventually become a future drain problem. There are service providers offering a regular drain clearing and maintenance service at least twice a year. The regular upkeep of drainage facilities reduces the need for unplanned repair and unblocking in the future.

Professional service providers will also provide expert advice on preventing drain blockages such as installing drain nets or avoiding flushing down insoluble items on sinks and toilets.

Closed-circuit television

Closed-circuit television or CCTV survey is fast becoming a preferred method of inspecting drainage systems. CCTV is an effective tool to assess whether a drainage system needs cleaning or repairing. The CCTV method uses portable endoscopic cameras to establish the condition of the pipes. Blockages, cracks, and pipe joints can be inspected and detected so that the right action can be done to manage the issues.

A camera may also be mounted on an electronically-controlled unit and then placed in the sewer or pipes for easier assessment.

Repairing the drain

Traditionally, in order to repair the drain, the service provider will excavate the site and perform remedial work. This usually involves the removal and replacement of the pipes that are cracked, deformed, or simply damaged.

Drain relining is a more modern technique of repairing the drain, which is also referred to as CIPP or cured-in-place pipe. CIPP utilizes a sleeve with no seams or joints and then filled with resin. A pipe is formed inside the current drain and then inflated with water or air. CIPP is a very effective way of retaining the strength of the original pipe’s structure. The expert will be able to rehabilitate the drain without the need to excavate the site. This method is preferred especially if excavation is undesirable or impractical.

Management of septic tank

You should hire a specialist if you need to clear out the cesspit or septic tank, especially if the main sewerage does not connect to your property. Contact your drainage and sewerage clearance service provider if they provide such service.

Surveying the drain

Before selling your property or buying one, you should have the site checked for possible subsidence which is the ground surface moving downward. Damaged drains and leakage can cause subsidence. Experts can survey and establish the condition of the current sewerage and drainage system. The professionals will inspect and map out the site usually through CCTV.

How Much Will The Services Cost Me?

If the drainage or sewerage problem arises from an issue with the public sewer, you do not have to pay for repair or clearance. To get appropriate action, it is best to contact the water provider.
To give you an idea how much clearing services for sewerage and drainage costs, read on:

You should expect to pay at least £40 for drain unblocking or clearing, rodding work, and water jetting.

You will be paying an hourly rate of £120 for CCTV and drain surveys, including a written report for the survey. Expect to pay more if your property has several manholes. You are going to be charged around £80 for emptying the septic tank. Clearing out the cesspit is more expensive, at about £300 due to the amount of waste that will be pumped or cleared out.

If you fail to rectify or resolve the problems that arise from your private sewer, you may be held accountable by local authorities for violating environmental health rules and regulations. Apart from the costs of fixing the private sewer, you may also be liable to pay fines or penalties.

How Can I Find a Reputable Service Provider?

Drainage and sewerage service providers are not governed by a specific body with regards to accreditation. To find a reputable service provider, you can view the list of professionals on the NADC (National Association of Drainage Contractors) website or the UVDB ( Utilities Vendor Database).

Another way to find a good local service provider is by checking whether the firm is a member of the Water Jetting Association. Affiliated members are known to adhere to the organization’s guidelines and code of practice.

To choose a reputable service provider for drain and sewerage clearing, here are important tips:

Always request for a free-of-charge assessment before agreeing to any service contract

Always verify what is included or not included in the price quotation. The quote should include a comprehensive explanation of the inclusions and exclusions in the service. You should consider asking for a fixed-price contract rather than a per-hour service agreement.

Always check the level of experience and training received by the staff. The company must implement strict policies pertaining to safe working practices.

Is the company reachable at any time of the day? A company that is available 24/7 is definitely a better option in case you have an emergency drain situation!