You know your property’s drains are underground, but do you know their exact location? How far down is the pipework? Can you describe the layout of your drainage system?
If you’re struggling to answer one or more of those questions, you’re not alone. The Bristol and Bath drains experts here at Mega-Rod help numerous residential and commercial property owners to familiarise themselves with the structure of their drainage systems. This often involves conducting CCTV drain surveys and sonar drain tracing – two of the specialist services we offer in Bath, Bristol and beyond.
With the detailed data we gather, we can create comprehensive, up-to-date drainage plans showing precisely where pipes and other important features are in relation to the buildings they serve, as well as providing helpful measurements and information about access points, direction of flow, etc. The data also helps us to pinpoint the location of any problems, such as congestion or drain blockages, so that we can identify and reach them rapidly without needing to dig up pipes. (And unless drains are extremely badly damaged, it’s normally possible to resolve issues in a non-invasive manner too.)
Surveying and Tracing Drains Can Be Invaluable
Asking a drain engineer to perform a CCTV drain survey and/or sonar drain tracing in order to create a drainage plan can be invaluable if:
- You’re unsure where some of your drain covers are. It’s not uncommon for these access points to be impossible to find without a drain expert’s help – many are buried beneath cement or dense, overgrown bushes.
- You don’t know where your private drains join the shared lateral drain, which leads to the sewers. The lateral drain is significant, as it marks the point at which you cease being responsible for the pipework and your local water and sewerage company takes over.
- You suspect you have a serious issue such as a collapsed drain (which is associated with frequent backups and rodent infestations) but don’t have a clear idea of where drain excavation work is likely to take place.
- You’re planning building work (adding a kitchen extension, conservatory or garage or carrying out renovations, say) or landscaping (such as adding a swimming pool or patio). You’ll want to avoid accidentally disturbing drains and will need to decide whether or not the existing drainage system will need to be modified in light of the proposed work. A drainage plan is also likely to be helpful if you’re preparing a planning application.
- You’re buying a new home or other property – it’s sensible to locate the drains and identify any issues before signing on the dotted line. If something is wrong, you could withdraw from the sale or renegotiate to get a better deal.
Looking for Existing Drainage Plans
If you want to check whether a drainage plan already exists for your property, you have a few options. You could check to see if the building’s previous owner left this type of document with the property deeds. If you have a new-build home, you may be able to request a drainage plan from the developers. Alternatively, you could see if your local council or water authority has one.
However, it’s important to be aware that any documents you obtain from those sources may not provide a comprehensive overview of your drainage system and could be out of date (for instance, they may have been produced before alterations were made to your drains).
‘The position of private drains […] that connect properties to our public networks are not normally shown on our records,’ Wessex Water points out. As a result, the company suggests you ‘carry out your own enquiries and investigations should you wish to locate them’. In other words, you need assistance from a drainage company.
Expert Assessment of Your Drainage System
When you want to know the exact location, layout and condition of your drains and obtain an up-to-date drainage plan, Mega-Rod’s CCTV drain survey and sonar drain tracing services are ideal.
- A colour CCTV camera controlled by us will crawl through your pipework. The footage will help us to map your drains and reveal their size, condition, the material they’re made from and any issues.
- That visual inspection is complemented by our sonar drain tracing expertise. We’ll feed a compact transmitter called a sonde into your drainage system; the electromagnetic signals it emits can be detected above ground by a handheld receiver. Interpreting those signals helps us to pinpoint each pipe’s position, track its route, measure its depth, diameter and inclination and assess any defects.
For a clear, comprehensive overview of your drainage system, and to pinpoint any issues, call Mega-Rod today on 01225 422980.