Tag Archives: drain survey

Is Certified Training Needed In The UK Drainage Industry ?

There has been quite a bit of heated debate on several of the social media sites with regards to whether Certified Drain Camera Survey training courses are really necessary within the domestic drainage industry. As a drainage engineer myself and owner/developer of www.DrainDomain.Com I thought I would put down my thoughts on the subject

Through the DrainDomain.com website I am often asked to collapse02review drain inspection survey reports, this can be simply to provide a second opinion on the report findings or on occasions to help mediate between two parties in a dispute. I am also still active as a surveyor myself undertaking 300+ surveys last year with the following two anecdotes occurring in the last 18 months

Example One

A guy in the South East employs a local independent contractor to undertake a home buyers drain inspection on a property he is looking to purchase, the drain report comes back stating all is structurally sound but the system requires high pressure water jetting to remove deposits of grease and fat.

The chap then buys and moves into the property and within 6 weeks has a blockage, a second contractor attends site and tells the home owner he has problems as the system is constructed from Pitch Fibre pipe work and it requires renewal

I was then sent the original report and video files from the pre-purchase survey where you can clearly see that the pipe work between each chamber is indeed Pitch Fibre, the deposits of grease and fat reported by the original surveyor are internal blisters on the pipe wall stained with grease after numerous blockages

I know for a fact that the home owner took legal action on this matter and recouped both the survey costs and the costs of the necessary repairs on the basis that he was denied the opportunity to negotiate these costs off the original property sale price

Example Two

During the conversion of a large city centre building into a Hotel two developers went bust, both developers had employed two of the larger national drainage contractors to undertake full site mapping and charting exercises, both contractors had submitted differing reports on the condition and lay out of the combined drainage system

A third developer then took over the project and I was asked to re-survey and map out the system, the first thing we noticed was that the drainage beneath the foot print of the property was not cast iron pipe work as reported in the two earlier reports, it was our old friend Pitch Fibre

To be fair the Pitch Fibre was in very good condition as it was beneath the basement car-park and it only had rain water passing through it, the problem on this site was that this area was been converted into the hotel kitchen and the pipe work would be subject to large volumes of hot water and steam, the Pitch Fibre pipe work would not have lasted more than a couple years before it required renewal

These two examples are typical of what I see time after time from drainage firms of all sizes, if surveyors are getting the basics such as pipe construction, pipe size and drainage system layout wrong how can they be trusted to give accurate information on degrees of displacement to joints, fracturing and water tightness in general

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All the above clients experienced and paid for a poor service which is never acceptable. As a contractor myself I would be just as concerned that there are surveyors out there who missed out on approximately 13k of drain lining repairs over the two sites

The UK Drainage Industry needs some set basic standards of training across all disciplines in order to raise the levels of service and to weed out the cowboy element

Rat Control and Pest Controllers

Its widely acknowledged that the rat population is on the increase due to several factors including the climate, their increasing resistance to poisons and the fact that many water companies and local authorities have cut back on sewer baiting contracts.

The cases of rat activity within properties is also on the increase as our adventurous fury friends find long established defective or poorly installed drainage systems that give them direct access beneath or adjacent to house floors and foundations.

Clearly the first phone call any hapless home owner will make after seeing evidence of rat activity or on hearing scratching noises in the walls or ceiling will be to a pest control contractor, and rightly so but how many pest control contractors are delivering a satisfactory service.

Any pest control contractor worthy of the title will look around the property for any obvious signs of access prior to laying bait or rat traps, if there are no signs of external entry and the rat ingress continues over several weeks or months surely pest control contractors should be steering the property owner towards a drain camera inspection.

It is estimated that 90% of rat ingress to properties is due to defective drainage systems yet we are contacted at www.draindomain.com on a weekly basis by people who have suffered months if not years of rat problems but have never been advised  to have the drains inspected.

There are certainly many pest control contractors who work with drainage companies in order to resolve a rat ingress problem as quickly as possible for the home owner, sadly though there are just as many who are happy to return to a property month after month rather than take the investigations to the next level.

Rather worryingly there was a recent post on Twitter by probably the UKs biggest pest control company giving their top ten tips to prevent rat ingress to properties,  there was not one mention of a defective drainage system or a drain camera inspection in the entire article.

Read more here on rat ingress to properties and how to prevent or cure it