Concrete blockages in your pipes or sewer system are one of the most difficult drainage-related problems to solve, but the specialist drainage engineers at Lanes for Drains can offer a top-notch service, removing even the largest “concretebergs” with advanced methods and technology.
Concretebergs occur when cement, grout and other building materials are disposed of down the drain, and are often impossible to remove without careful planning and specialist skills. Lanes has experience of dealing with these stubborn blockages, and can play an instrumental role in helping to get concrete-clogged drains and sewers back in working order as quickly as possible.
What is a concreteberg?
As the name suggests, a concreteberg is a large mass of building material that accumulates in the drain as a result of concrete, cement and grout being poured down the drain.
This can happen when concrete accidentally runs into the sewer during building work, or is intentionally poured away when it is no longer needed. Smaller blockages can also occur when tradespeople clean cement off their tools and equipment and pour the washout water into drains and gullies, resulting in the material congealing and forming into solid masses within the pipes.
Concretebergs take their name from fatbergs – which are similarly huge masses that result from solidified fat, oil and grease congealing with non-biodegradable items to form blockages – and are even more difficult to remove, especially when the concrete sets to the brickwork found in older sewer systems.
Check out our guide to concretebergs for more information and advice on how to prevent them from arising.
How do our concreteberg removal methods work?
Dealing with concretebergs is a big job, requiring sophisticated methods to efficiently remove the solid mass, while also mitigating the significant disruption that blockages of this size can cause.
Robotic cameras and manual assessments are used to ascertain the full scale of the problem, allowing us to determine the best possible solution. The robotic cutting tools and ultra high-pressure jetting units within our fleet are often deployed to remove smaller concrete spills, while bigger blockages in large sewers will require our team to don breathing apparatus and enter the drains to tackle the concreteberg manually.At the same time, careful project management is necessary to ensure that wastewater flows are being properly diverted, preventing sewage from getting backed up and causing flooding risks in nearby areas while the work is being carried out.
When it is not possible to divert the sewage flow into another drain, we utilise a method called tanker over-pumping, using our tanker fleet to load up and transport the sewage directly to the sewage treatment works.
Why choose Lanes?
As the UK’s biggest privately-owned specialist drainage contractor, Lanes for Drains has the scale and capacity to deal with even the largest concretebergs, responding to callouts 24/7 in locations across the country.
With depots nationwide, a sizeable fleet of tankers and some of the industry’s most skilled engineers on our side, we are able to remove concrete blockages of all sizes from drains and sewers, from small jobs to large-scale excavation projects that require coordination with external partners.
In April 2019, wastewater engineers from Lanes worked with colleagues from Thames Water to remove a giant concreteberg in North London measuring 100m and weighing 105 tonnes, a months-long project that required round-the-clock oversight, intensive labour and the kind of specialist expertise that only Lanes can provide.