Why Should you Inspect your Interceptors?

Interceptors are large underground tanks on your drainage network that are designed to prevent oils and silts discharging off-site and potentially causing pollution.  You can find out more information about interceptors by clicking here.  Your interceptors should be regularly serviced to ensure they remain effective and detect any issues early (read about servicing here).  This blog will discuss the benefits of regular inspections beyond servicing and what you should do to ensure continued protection.

What is an interceptor inspection?

An interceptor inspection is a careful examination of your interceptor, the surrounding area and its contents to confirm quality and condition.  A non-invasive check, the inspection will:

  • Check the area of the interceptor – is the interceptor accessible? Are there any damaged areas that could cause an issue?  Can the manhole lid be lifted?
  • Check the accumulation of silt, oil and any other substances that could have got into the interceptor
  • A visual check of the interceptor itself, looking for any obvious damage
  • A visual check of any mechanical parts associated with the interceptor e.g. probes

Why should I have an interceptor inspection?

If you have never serviced your interceptors, an inspection is a great place to start to determine their current condition and effectiveness.  An inspection will identify areas that need attention and assess any potentially underlying problems.  For example, it will show if your interceptors are stuck fast (the manhole lid can’t be lifted) or full of oil.  If your interceptors have been regularly serviced, an inspection in the interim between services can be beneficial to identify any issues that have developed, particularly if they are only serviced annually.

What do I do after an inspection?

Your inspection should be recorded to evidence that a check has been carried out.  This should confirm areas where interceptor condition is acceptable and any areas where issues have developed.  Following the inspection, you must follow up on any issues that have been discovered.  If an interceptor has accumulated oil, you should arrange for a tanker to remove it.  You may also want to investigate how any issues occurred and potentially consider increasing your service intervals.

Do I still need an interceptor service?

Yes!  An inspection is a quick check of your interceptor to highlight any issues that develop between your service intervals, it is not intended to replace your regular servicing schedule.  Interceptor services will be more thorough and cleaning is likely to occur to ensure continued servicing levels.  Your service may also involve tanker work if oil or silt has accumulated in an interceptor.

Interceptor inspections are a good method of ensuring your interceptors continue to provide pollution protection from your site activities.  You should carry out regular inspections and act on the results to ensure your pollution prevention control devices continue to work as designed.  An inspection is not designed to replace an interceptor service but can be a good place to start if you have not had a service schedule in place previously.