University learns vital lessons from full site drainage survey

University learns vital lessons from full site drainage survey

A university has been given “valuable insights” after commissioning Lanes Group plc to carry out a full site survey of the drainage system serving its campus.

A team from the Lanes Manchester depot carried out the survey over two weeks, providing the University of Bolton with a detailed map of the drainage system across the whole site.

The university commissioned the survey to better tackle a number of persistent drainage problems and help inform future development plans for its Deane Road Campus.

Optimised drainage

Carl Reevell, the university’s Minor Works Project Manager, said: “Asking Lanes to carry out the full site drainage survey has given us valuable insights.

“We had been fire-fighting drainage blockages and other related problems but realised we weren’t addressing the underlying structural issues, which isn’t cost-effective.

“The details drainage survey report and advice provided by Lanes has highlighted where we can take steps to optimise our drainage system to eliminate faults and so save money in the long-term.

“It also means we reduce the risk of disruption for our students, staff and the public who use and visit our campus every day, which is equally important.”

Legacy systems

The final drainage survey report had data on 1,839 metres of pipework with diameters ranging from 100mm to 375mm and hundreds of chambers and access points.

Lanes Manchester Area Development Manager Ian Clapham said a full site survey at large facilities like the University of Bolton campus will quickly pay for itself in terms of improving drainage systems.

He added: “We’re very pleased to have assisted Carl and his facilities management colleagues achieve a thorough assessment of their below-ground wastewater assets.

“As with other public assets, like hospitals and schools, the university’s campus has been developed over many decades. Understanding its legacy drainage systems is vital to manage them properly.

“Our drainage engineers could begin to provide good advice from the moment they arrived on site. The drainage system map and supporting data the university now has will ensure robust planned maintenance will help eliminate persistent drainage problems and risks.”

In one example, Lanes drainage teams could advise maintenance staff that an airlock in a drainage pipe was causing repeated blockages. The installation of a £15 air admittance valve in a soil stack solved the problem.

Sustainable jetting

The Lanes Manchester depot deployed a CCTV drainage survey van and a recycler jet vac tanker to carry out the survey.

The jet vac tanker, which can filter and reuse its water, making it 62% more productive and more sustainable, was used to clean surface water and foul drain lines.

This allowed push rod and robotic CCTV survey cameras to be inserted into the pipes to record HD-quality video, which identified the condition of pipes. The structure, connections and flow directions of the pipes could also be plotted.

The university can now take planned and prioritised steps to address issues highlighted by the survey. The data will also allow it to address key issues, including sustainability and more volatile weather caused by climate change.

Valuable process

Carl Reevell said: “In terms of helping us bear down on maintenance costs and plan for the future the full site drainage survey has been worth every penny.

“We’re continuing to develop sustainable surface water management systems, which includes water capture and attenuation systems for roofs and external hard surfaces. Understanding our drainage system is central to that process.”

Find out more

Talk to Lanes about full site CCTV drainage surveys for educational campuses, including schools, colleges and universities and other large sites.

Our below ground investigation services also include topographic surveys, GPS surveys and asset condition inspections.

Telephone: 0800 526 488. Email:

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