Domestic Drainage Problems – FAQs
Q: My bath is draining slowly. What does that mean?
There could be a localised blockage in the primary pipe work before it meets the SVP (soil vent pipe) or gully to which the bath discharges. Often this will be made up of hair and ‘scud’ (scum and crud) from soaps, etc. The solution would be to disconnect the pipe work and clean the trap out. A small spring machine could then be used to de-scale the pipe work through to the outfall.
Q: The manhole on my driveway is overflowing. Am I responsible for clearing the blockage?
The pipe line from the manhole chamber, if it serves a single dwelling, is the sole responsibility of the householder. The pipeline is what’s known as a transferred asset (ie belongs to your water and sewerage company) if it’s outside the curtilage of your dwelling or at the point where it becomes a shared sewer (with another property).
Q: There is a terrible smell coming from my drains.
Smells may be overcome by removing all deposited matter from the gully grid and trap. (If you attempt this, use a mechanical aid rather than your hand). Strong disinfectants can help to discourage odours in the first place. However very often we find the cause is a build up of ‘FOG’ (fat, oil and grease). If there’s evidence of grease deposits, we would strongly recommend that the drains are de-scaled professionally via water jetting. Good housekeeping (‘bag it and bin it’ rather than wash it down the drain) is the best preventive measure against odours — and potential blockages too.
Q: What is a Bio Disc sewage treatment system?
Bio disc sewage treatment plants are the preferred option by most of the planning authorities and W&SC in the UK, who prefer to recommend the installation of these plants because the sewage has been treated prior to disposal. Bio disc plants use an aerobic digestion process to naturally treat sewage. Bio disc treatment system’s store the sewage in a holding tank whilst the treatment process is undertaken. Heavy solid waste from a Bio Disc treatment system has to be disposed of in accordance with Waste Handling Legislation.
Q: What is a grease trap?
A: A grease trap is a piece of equipment that is installed to capture fats, oils and grease from sink waste to avoid it entering the drains and subsequently the sewage systems. If fats, oils and grease get into drains and sewers they solidify and then other debris catches in the grease which then causes blockages. Rats and other vermin feed off the grease waste. Grease traps should be cleaned and maintained regularly and the grease waste disposed of to registered waste disposal sites.
Domestic properties should allow the grease waste to cool and then bag it and bin it. Alternatively an ecological solution would be to allow the grease waste to cool add some nuts into the grease and then feed to wild birds especially in the winter time. It is highly recommended that commercial properties where food is prepared should have some sort of grease trap/system in place.