Why Should I Investigate Drain Blockages?

Despite the best proactive and preventative drainage maintenance schedules, you could still experience drain blockages that can cause operational disruption and need clearing as soon as possible.  This blog will discuss the advantage of investigating the cause of a blockage rather than leaving it once cleared.

The consequences of blocked drains

Blocked drains can cause lead to flooding, offensive smells and sinks, toilets and drains backing up, which can cause severe operational disruption.  If left, the consequences can get worse.  If a drain is severely blocked, you will want to get it dealt with very quickly so you can resume normal operations.  Following a blockage, an investigation can identify the underlying cause and potentially prevent a recurrence.

Causes of blocked drains

There many reasons why your drains may become blocked, and this should become clear following an investigation.  Blockages can occur from materials being disposed of to the drainage system that shouldn’t be including solids and items like disposable wipes being disposed of down toilets, sinks and drains.  Additionally, FOGs (fat, oils and grease) disposed of down drains in kitchen and canteen areas can solidify in drainage pipes and cause a blockage (read here for more information).  Damage within the drainage network could also cause issues.  Tree roots breaking through drainage pipes and broken or misaligned pipework can lead to blockages that can cause more severe problems if left unresolved.

Blockages can also be the result of absence or lapsed maintenance.  Any pollution control devices such as interceptors or grease traps on your drainage network should be regularly inspected and serviced and cleaned out when required.  Grease traps in particular can build up debris, causing a blockage.  Your drains, including gullies should also be regularly serviced to prevent build up of silt and other materials that will affect your drains over time.

What you can do about it

Your next actions will depend on the results of the investigation and you should consider works required to prevent a recurrence or a more serious problem developing further down the line.

You may need to step up awareness to ensure people are aware of what they can put down toilets, drains and sinks.  If FOG is a problem, you may want to consider installing a grease trap or other devise to treat water being discharged before it blocks your drains.  If your drains are damaged or defective in some way, you should consider remedial works, so they don’t cause more serious issues, including environmental pollution.  You should also ensure you keep up with your maintenance schedule and review if it is not sufficient.

Blocked drains can cause significant operational disruption and can be costly.  Once you have resolved a blockage issue, you should investigate why it occurred and complete any required recommendations to prevent it from happening again.  Regular maintenance is also essential to keep drains in good condition, identify any remedial requirements before they cause a blockage and reduce blockages that require reactive works.