Tag Archives: Sanitary sewer

World Toilet Day highlights sewer flooding issues

Pink toilet paper

Image via Wikipedia

Last week marked World Toilet Day. This has prompted Drain Doctor to remind people to use their loos responsibly by not sending inappropriate items down the drain.

On average we visit the toilet 2,500 times a year and spend roughly three years of our life on the loo. Often, though, the humble WC (and sometimes the items we put down it) aren’t given a second thought.

Toilet cleansing cloths, face wipes, baby wipes, cotton wool, tampons, sanitary towels, condoms, nappies, razor blades and plasters, along with fats, oils and grease frequently find their way into the sewer system, even though they would be better off in the bin.

Research by the Consumer Council for Water showed that the majority of consumers are unaware that these items can get caught in pipes, building up a blockage over time because, unlike toilet paper, they don’t break down. Blocked drains can either lead to expensive maintenance bills, or worse, sewer flooding.

Three quarters of sewer blockages are caused by people putting items they shouldn’t down the loo or the sink and half of sewer flooding is caused by these blockages.

Any drains or private sewers that carry waste away from the home are the responsibility of the homeowner or the landlord, both inside and outside the property boundary until the point where they connect with the public sewers.

The sewerage company is only responsible for public sewers.

Tony Smith, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Having your home flooded with sewage is very unpleasant and companies should provide the best customer service possible to prevent it from happening in the first place.

“But consumers have a role to play too by ensuring that household rubbish, including fats, oils and grease stay out of toilets and drains, and instead are put in the bin where they belong.”

Flooding facts

  • Drains from the home are no wider than four inches (100 mm) and are only built to carry water, toilet paper and human waste.
  • If you find it difficult to flush your toilet or notice that water drains away slowly or bubbles in the bottom of your toilet, contact Drain Doctor and clearly explain the symptoms. Do not try to flush the toilet again as this could cause internal flooding.
    If the problem is due to a blockage or fault in your private drain, Drain Doctor can repair it.
  • If sewage has entered your property from a public sewer, the sewerage company will send someone to visit you as soon as possible and help clean your property.

Toilet titbits

  • The first toilet paper was developed in England in 1880, although it wasn’t until 1935 that toilet paper was advertised as ‘splinter free’!
  • Each person uses an average of 57 sheets of toilet paper a day.
  • Most toilets flush in the key of E flat.

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Regular check-ups by the Drain Doctor offer prevention rather than cure.

A CCTV inspection of the drain will show the nature and location of the problem.

Prevention is better than cure. Any doctor will tell you that and Drain Doctor is no exception. 

Many of you will have seen mail shots from your local water company reminding you that you are responsible for that part of your drainage system that runs from your house to the main sewer. 

They are of course trying to sell you insurance but the basic message is accurate. 

In all likelihood, your home has a mains water supply provided by one of the regional water companies. Below ground the household waste pipes are channelled through inspection chambers near the house to join the main drain, which then runs into the water company’s sewer. 

A pipe that only takes drainage from a building or buildings within the same property boundary is called a drain. The water that drains into it may be surface water (for example rainwater from the roof) and/or foul water (for example, bathroom or toilet waste). The responsibility for unblocking a drain or repairing any defects lies with the owner or occupier of the building. 

This is the case even if the problem on the drain is beyond the boundary of the building or under a road or pavement. To avoid serious and expensive repairs it is a good idea to get your drains checked regularly by the professionals. 

Drain Doctor can inspect your drains using the latest CCTV technology. Using special inspection software Drain Doctor technicians can assess your drains and advise on any necessary remedial work. This is widely supported by many of the major insurance companies and water utilities. 

Using the software Drain Doctor’s technicians undertake detailed surveys of drains and document critical inspection work rapidly and thoroughly. Installed on an industrial PC it enables technicians to log digital video from CCTV inspections, still images and text data in an extensive, searchable database. They can identify potential problems and develop permanent solutions. 

Its reporting tools and a freeware viewer make it easy to share inspection results between technicians and head office. It means that Drain Doctor can provide an even better level of service to its customers, both commercial and domestic and help minimise disruption and cost. 

So make sure you give your drains a regular health check to help avoid costly repairs.

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