August 2010 -

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Engineers find dinosaur bones when digging new sewer system

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

We usually bring you news form the UK, but we thought this sewer news article from Alberta in Canada warranted inclusion. Construction engineers in the city of Edmonton, Alberta have discovered a seventy million year old fossil of a dinosaur while digging a new sewer system in the city. The city is quite famous regarding dinosaur discoveries, with two dinosaurs already being named after the city in which they were discovered, they Edmontosaurus and the Edmontonia. And, the new dinosaur find is not related to a single species. It is believed that the bones already unearthed are from two distinctly different species, the duck billed Edmontosaurus and an Albertosaurus. It is uncertain when sewer works will be allowed to continue, but with both finds carrying immense importance, it is estimated to be some time before work starts on the sewer again. If you have a drainage problem at home and your waste pipe needs to be excavated, there is little likelihood that you will find dinosaur bones under the drainage system. However, drain maintenance experts will be able to rectify your problem quickly and restore your drains waste carrying capacity.

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Sewer in Waverton collapses

Friday, August 27th, 2010

A local post office in Waverton is feeling the pinch after a road had to be closed due to a sewer collapse. The first problems noted on Moor Lane in Waverton included sinking tarmac, but eventually the problem worsened until the highways department had to close the road and cordon off the area. The sinking was investigated and found to be a collapsed sewer. The local post office has seen custom halve since the road closure. And it is estimated that the work needed to complete the sewer repair will take another two weeks. Sharon Senior, who owns the post office stated:

“We couldn’t believe it. On the Friday when the road was closed it was just dead, and it has been dead all week. We are really struggling now because people aren’t driving past and are just going elsewhere. “Our business usually drops during the holidays, but this year it had been quite steady, but this is crippling us.”
Sharon first made the council aware of the problem over a week ago but it has taken until now to find the cause of the problem. A United Utilities spokesperson stated:
“We have established that work will need to be undertaken at two points on the road, one outside the post office and another further down the road. The work is expected to be completed in two weeks. We do obviously sympathise with the owners of the post office. We will do our upmost to get the work done as quickly as possible. It is expected to last two weeks.”

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Sewer system not at fault for road closure

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

A sewer system has been given a clean bill of health after a drainage engineer checked the system when a large hole appeared in a road in Southport. A resident reported the hole in Cambridge Road in the town last Friday. It was first thought the hole signified a burst water pipe or even worse a sewer collapse. United Utilities were called to investigate the problem, but their drain inspection engineer referred the matter back to the local council’s highway department. The United Utilities spokesperson stated:

“We have had an engineer on site and there was no evidence that there was anything wrong at all with the sewer system. He referred it back to Sefton Council.”
Sefton council will now make repairs to the road so it can be opened as soon as possible. There are some occasions when a sewer is the cause of a collapse in the road, but it is not always the case. If you have a problem with sinking in your drive or garden, it’s always worth giving drain maintenance experts a ring to check the drainage system. They will perform a CCTV survey and let you know if the drain is the cause of the problem.

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Sewer pipes exposed at the River Holme in Holmfirth

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Sewer pipes which were buried deep beneath the river line at Holmfirth have become exposed after years of erosion. And, the chief constable of the Graveship of Holme, Arthur Quarmby, has warned that unless something is done, the pipes could pose a serious pollution threat. The exposed pipes could pose a problem if they were broken by a falling tree or further erosion. Mr Quarmby has said that the flow rate of the river Holme increased in 1944 after a weir was removed, the consequential reduction in silt levels has resulted in the pipes being exposed after all these years. If the pipes did break, it would result in damaging consequences for Holmfirth, as thousands of gallons of raw sewage may run through the village. The sewer problem seems to have hit a snag however, as it has yet to be established who owns the exposed pipes. A spokesperson from Yorkshire Water stated that up to now they have been unable to determine if they owned the pipes. She stated:

“We take our environmental responsibilities seriously and will be sending out a technician to investigate the pipes across this section of the River Holme. “Our records show that there is a public sewer in the area, but the pipes could also be private and owned by other individuals, which we will know once we have visited the location. “We carry out a regular programme of pipe inspections across the region to check that they are operating as they should be and are suitably protected and positioned for their surrounding environments. “Once we have determined whether the pipes in question are public sewers that are still in use we will assess their suitability to the location.”

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Delays for motorists on the A34 in Stafford due to collapsed sewer

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

There were huge problems for traffic on the A34 in Stafford last week when a drain collapsed under a busy section of the road. Road users faced severe delays whilst repairs took place to the sewer. The repair had initially been expected to take only a few days, but the discovery of a gas main in the same trench forced drainage experts from Severn Trent Water to stop digging until National Grid Gas made the site safe. Temporary traffic lights were put in place during the repair, with delays of an hour experienced by some motorists. A spokesperson from Severn Trent Water stated:

“We’ve not been able to progress further with the sewer pipe repair as we’re still assessing how best to tackle what’s needed. “The excavated trench contains gas and water pipes as well the damaged sewer pipe, and we need to make sure we take a safe and practicable approach to the repairs. “In the meantime, the excavation has been safely enclosed by barriers and traffic is able to flow freely past the spot. “We apologise for any inconvenience the delay in repairs may cause.”
Large drainage problems like this will usually have to be dug to be repaired. However, if you have a problem with the drainage pipe that leads from your home to the public sewer, a liner repair will sometimes be all that is needed to repair the pipe.

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South London Circular sees traffic delays as sewer is repaired

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

The South London Circular is still closed after a sewer collapsed on Friday the 13th of August. The sewer in question is on London Road in Forrest Hill near the Forest Hill Sainsbury’s store. Thames Water is carrying out repairs to the sewer, including rebuilding of a section of the sewer. The road is currently closed between Dartmouth Road and Sydenham Hill and a diversion is in place. Drivers have been warned to expect severe delays because of the ongoing repair work. A spokesperson for Thames Water stated:

"The rebuild of this section of sewer is expected to take about two weeks. "We are really sorry for the inconvenience this is causing road-users."
Sewer and drain problems can have severe consequences for those of us that live in a big city like London. However, daily life must go on while the repairs are carried out. Drainage problems in London are not confined to public sewer systems either. The drains that leave your property are your responsibility until they reach the public sewer system. For this reason it’s important that they are checked on a regular basis by a professional drain maintenance expert, so problems can be located and rectified quickly.

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What happens at a sewage treatment centre?

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Sewage treatment centres are dotted up and down the country. Without them, our way of life would be drastically different and the hygiene levels we have all become accustom to would deteriorate. But what happens at a sewage treatment centre? At a sewage treatment centre the effluent goes through the following processes: • Large objects and debris are removed. • The sewage flows into tanks. The solid matter sinks to the bottom and is removed as sludge. • Biological treatment of the sewage takes place. Liquid is passed through bacteria laden filters which feed off the waste thus cleaning the water. Some local councils also use a treatment called an activated sludge process, where bacteria is mixed with effluent in large tanks which blow air into the sludge mixture. It can then enter settlement tanks so any solids that remain can be removed and the water can then be put back into the environment. The treated effluent is then pumped back into local rivers or the sea. We rely on the drains that take this effluent to treatment centres on a daily basis. However, we rarely check they are performing to the best of their ability. If you have a drain maintenance professional, they will be able to perform a CCTV survey on your drainage system to highlight any potential problems.

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Mill Road closed for a further 8 weeks due to damaged sewer

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Bad news for residents and business owners on Mill Road in Cambridge, a further sewer collapse has meant that works will be extended for a further eight weeks. We first reported on the sewer collapse on Mill Road a few weeks ago, when Anglian water were carrying out emergency repairs after a section of the sewerage system collapsed. However, it seems there will now be further delays, at what was supposed to be the completion date of the works. When the sewer was opened a few weeks ago, it was found to be only operating at 40% capacity due to various substances blocking the flow of water. Objects found included: • Sanitary items including nappies • Rubble • Congealed fats and oils When the offending blockage was removed, Anglian water performed a CCTV survey on the drainage system and found a further collapse at a distance of 30 metres from the problem. Initially a liner repair was looked into, but because the sewer was so badly damaged, Anglian water will have to dig further holes in Mill Road to repair the damage. A spokes person for Anglian water stated:

“We’re writing to all the residents and businesses in the area again, to update them about the situation. We are genuinely sorry that this inconvenience is ongoing, but we have to repair this sewer. "The consequences of not doing so would be holes appearing in the road and sewage backing up into people’s homes, and that’s simply unthinkable.”

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Raw sewage collects in yard due to blocked drain

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

A business in Pontypool, South Wales has been fined, after it opened for business even though a drain was blocked and part of the premises was flooded with raw sewage. The business in question was fined for breach of environmental health and safety regulations and a string of other offences at Cwmbran Magistrates court. Torfaen council inspected the property on the 15th January this year and found that incorrect disposal of cooking oils had totally blocked the sewer system, which had resulted in sewage pouring into a side yard. The environmental health officer who carried out the inspection stated:

“As I walked through the kitchen a weak smell of raw sewage mixed with cooking was apparent, as I walked down the stairs into the basement there was a distinctive odour of raw sewage and by the time I reached the food storage room the smell was sickening and it was obvious that the area had been flooded in raw sewage.”
When he returned three days later, he still found the drain blocked and the business was trading as normal. Drain blockages can be cleared quickly and efficiently if you use the right drainage company. And if you take out a drain maintenance contract, you can be sure they won’t happen in the future.

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Rainfall in Aberdeenshire causes problems to businesses

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Businesses in Aberdeen are hoping to have a better week, after flooding caused problems due to the torrential rain that fell last Tuesday. The Satrosphere Science Centre was closed for two days after a drain collapsed and water poured into the premises. One of the managers at Satrosphere stated:

“Most of the building was flooded. We have a central drain that runs down the middle of the building and the water that came down just overwhelmed it. “We have spent two days cleaning, just trying to get it back into a manageable state. There have been loads of disappointed visitors which we have been very upset about. “Thankfully, the dinosaurs escaped a secondary extinction as the exhibition itself has not been affected.”
The bad luck was not restricted to Satrosphere. The cellars of many businesses were flooded, including that of The Regent Bridge Bar. Approximately £1,500 worth of stock was damaged at the premises on Regent Quay, even though most of it was stored at a height four feet off the floor. Flooding on the Dee River Bridge on the A90 also caused severe delays, with water at a depth of around 2 or 3 inches. The problem was apparently caused by a number of gullies that had become blocked. We don’t seem to pay much attention to our drainage systems until severe weather occurs or a blockage causes problems. However, we wouldn’t have many of these problems if we paid a little more attention to our drains or had a drain maintenance contract in place. This would mean problems could be fixed before they caused damage or disruption.

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