December 2012 |

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Unblocking drains blocked by fat

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

One of the most common problems drainage engineers in London face when they attend a drain blockage is the build-up of congealed fat. Although drainage companies spend thousands of pounds trying to educate homeowners regarding the items which can and which can’t be disposed of down the drain, every year thousands of drains become blocked due to the unwitting disposal of liquid fat. Fat may be in a liquid form when you pour it down the sink but as soon as it hits your cool drainage pipes it starts to congeal and eventually stops the flow of water completely. And if the drain which leaves your home is not shared by a neighbour you could find that the problem will be your problem to fix. It’s only when drains are shared with neighbours or the drain enters a public sewer that the local waste water company will take responsibility for the problem, until that point you’ll have to hire a drainage company and pay for any repairs. Fat can be removed from drainage pipes quite easily but the damage done by the blocked drain won’t be so easy to ignore, in the worst cases the blocked drain will cause sewage to bubble up from your drains which may or may not also enter your home.

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Environment Agency finds pollution in stream in Little Marlow

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The Environment Agency and Thames Water are investigating after local residents discovered a host of dead animals next to a stream in Little Marlow. Swan, ducks and fish have all reportedly succumbed to the pollution in the stream with other dead birds also spotted floating on the surface of the water. Dog owners have also reported that their pets have been ill after swimming in the stream and associated lake. After inspecting the problem the Environment Agency said that they believe the source of the problem was a surcharging manhole which is the property of Thames Water. A spokeswoman for the Environment Agency said:

"The blockage in the manhole has been cleared and the discharge stopped. Approximately six dead fish were discovered at the scene. Officers are investigating."
Thames Water spokesperson Craig Rance said:
"A blockage in a manhole cover caused sewage to flow into the stream on The Moor on Thursday, November 15. "This has now cleared but we will be doing a CCTV survey of the pipes to make sure there are no further problems. "Unfortunately, six dead fish were found but we believe these to be the only animals that were affected. Any pollution incident is deeply regrettable and we're very sorry for the damage this has caused."
It remains unproven what caused the deaths of the other animals.

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Wilmington residents await sewer repairs

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Homeowners in Wilmington have criticised Thames Water after they were forced to wait over 80 days for a collapsed sewer to be repaired. The sewer collapse happened in early September but because repairs need to take place on a busy section of road Thames Water had to delay the repair. Residents have complained of things such as nappies, sanitary towels and even condoms seeping up through the ground near the damaged section of road. When the damage occurred Thames Water installed a gulley sucker to clear the sewage from the homes affected. Repairs finally started last Tuesday when two lanes of the A2 were closed to motorists so the London drainage engineers could perform a CCTV survey of the sewer. A Thames Water spokesperson said:

"We need to have a tanker to take away sewage from The Close to prevent the properties in this street flooding with raw sewage. "The collapsed sewer causing the issues is under the A2 and therefore we have had to gain permission from the local highway authority and from Connect Plus, who manage the M25. "Unfortunately, this will not resolve the situation. We will then need to design the repair and then wait again for permission to access to the road to get this job done. "We are really sorry for the length of time this is taking but we are doing everything we can to get it done as soon as possible."

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Drainage problems again in Hendon

Friday, December 7th, 2012

A drain that has been causing problems for five years has finally been fixed by Thames Water. The drain, which is located under a busy high street in Hendon regularly sent sewer water flooding down the road at times of heavy rainfall. Although there have been numerous investigations into why the sewer flooding has happened Thames Water had no success locating the source of the problem until now. Traders in Church Road, which is adjacent to where the flooding occurs, have spoken of their disappointment about the length of time taken to rectify the problem. During the worst bouts of flooding the smell created by the overflowing sewer turned customers away from trader’s shops and stopped people walking down the road due to the amount of water running over the road surface. Drainage engineers last attended the problem in July when Barnet council also became involved in the investigations. A Thames Water spokesperson commented before the sewer was repaired:

“We are working with Barnet Council to try and get this issue resolved as soon as possible. We believe there may be a blockage in the sewer which is causing the drains to overflow…”
Drainage engineers finally decided to investigate further last week and dug a large hole in the road adjacent to the Times Series offices to replace a section of damaged sewer pipe.

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Oxford residents complain of sewer flooding

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Residents in Oxford have criticised Thames Water after their road was blighted by sewer flooding after the recent spate of wet weather. Residents in around 20 homes in South Hinksey, Earl Street and Western Road saw sewer flooding last week due to the heavy rainfall. They claim that Thames Water is not doing enough to maintain their sewer system. Thames Water, the London sewer company, has responded with the claim that there have not been any maintenance failures and that it was the sheer volume of water over the weekend in question, as well as the very wet summer, which caused the problems. Last Tuesday a retired couple found that their living room was ankle-deep in contaminated water. The property owner Mrs Dennehy said in the Oxford Mail:

“Two years ago we spent thousands doing up our kitchen after the last flood, but it’s all happened again.” Mr Dennehy commented that the family had lived in the home since 1949 but it was only in the last ten years that they have seen sewer flooding. His son, John Dennehy said: “It shouldn’t have happened, we’ve had the Environment Agency and fire teams out here and they are saying it is a Thames Water issue.”
Thames water spokesperson Simon Evans sympathised with residents, he said:
“We sympathise with those affected, but the sheer amount of rainfall is the fault here, not the system. If it is enough to overwhelm the Thames, it is enough to overwhelm our sewers.” “We sent our tankers down there to help these people out, not because we were at fault. “The recent rain was preceded by the wettest summer on record, which has left the ground like a soaked sponge as we go into winter, making flooding more likely.”

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