While man-made blockages are a common occurrence in Britain’s sewer network, Yorkshire Water were left with a huge repair job on their hands when they found that gallons of wet concrete had been illegally poured into a sewer in Pudsey, West Yorkshire.
This blockage under Waterloo Road in the town has affected the entire system and a significant operation is underway to remove it. The pipe flow has been severely compromised in some places and so the road works, which began this week, are widespread (at a 15 metre stretch).
Drain maintenance contractors have been called in as a CCTV inspection revealed the scale of the problem. Local property owners were the first to notice flooding under their homes.
A new pipe is needed due to the damage caused by the concrete, although a waste cutter and high pressure water jetting were used in the first instance to see if they could prevent the need for excavation work.
Project manager for Yorkshire Water, John Bond, said:
“For someone to pour such a huge quantity of concrete into the sewer is quite simply an act of vandalism, and one that has already had awful consequences for several local property owners.
“Whilst we regularly remove hundreds of man-made blockages from our sewers, we’ve never seen anything like this and simply can’t believe someone would be so irresponsible as to pour such a huge volume of concrete down a drain.
“Our priority now is to get this blockage removed as quickly as possible, with the minimum amount of fuss and disruption.”