UK Hit by Numerous Summer Drainage Problems

Some people think of Unblocking drains as being a relatively minor problem; something that doesn’t happen all that often and an issue that is easily solved. However, that rather dismissive diagnosis is actually missing the potential disruption that a blocked drain can cause, and we couldn’t help but notice that even a cursory glance over last month’s news stories would reveal a very different story:

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A Prickly Situation – Trapped Hedgehog Rescued from Drain

Last time, we brought you the story of a terrier that was rescued from a drain in North Shields. Ella, a Patterdale Terrier, was freed from the offending drain and ultimately returned to her 10-year old owner, and most of you probably reckoned that this sort of thing was a relatively rare occurrence. However, finding startled animals trapped within drains is a worryingly common problem, and a matter of days ago ITV News reported another such problem concerning a hedgehog.

Hedgehogs and Drains…

The hedgehog in question was discovered down a drain in Castel, a parish in Guernsey, and apparently this unlucky – or perhaps lucky – female hedgehog was then rushed to ‘hospital’ afterwards. Despite being very thin as a result of her ordeal, the hedgehog is recovering well, and is being kept at the shelter for the time being until she regains her strength. However, this almost trivial tale masks a serious issue; the fact that UK hedgehogs are really struggling at the moment.

During the build-up to winter, hedgehogs suffer due to a lack of food and the cold weather, and this results in them becoming sick. Therefore, they’re more likely to attempt to hibernate in potentially ill-suited locations. Although you may never have thought about it, hedgehogs actually do a lot for us, as they are one of nature’s solutions to several pest control problems, so be sure to look at ITV’s article on how to diagnose an injured hedgehog. Hey, we may like to predominantly talk about drains here on our blog, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t spare a thought for the little guys too!

Other Stuff and Drains…

It’s fair to say that you can find all sorts of things down a drain. In the last week or so, a judge has ruled that some 18,000 bottles of wine found in Lancashire and West Yorkshire should be poured down the drain. Literally. The suspicion is that the excise duty on the wine hadn’t been paid, so down the drain it goes. You might think that’s a terrible waste, and you’d probably be right, but sometimes stuff gets thrown down drains that really shouldn’t be there, and for those notable occasions where a blocked drain is the inevitable result, we’re always on hand to help.

blocked drains Derby

At Inspect a Drain, we specialise in unblocking even the toughest of drainage issues, and that means we can always help you, no matter whether your drain is plugged by an item of clothing or an over adventurous animal. To request a solution to any problem relating to drains, call our blocked drains Derby specialists, please contact us now by calling 0800 195 8670, 01335 360879 or send us an email at today.

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How Drains can Contribute to Subsidence

This article is brought to you by the experts on Unblocking drains Derby people need.

Subsidence is caused when the ground beneath your property’s foundations moves, and the foundations move with it, causing parts of the property to sink and creating cracks in the structure. The main symptoms of subsidence are cracks, largely around windows, doors and other weak points in the structure, usually diagonal and wider at the top than at the bottom.

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The Strangest Causes of Blocked Drains

When you’ve serviced as many blocked drains in Derby as we have, you come to regard such troublesome plumbing as a fact of life. Blocked drains are commonplace, and more often than not are relatively straightforward to rectify. The cause behind the blockage is frequently fairly normal too. However, every so often you encounter stories of some truly strange blockages that you really wouldn’t credit as being possible.

In a previous blog, we touched upon the recent incident of a blocked sewer in London that was plugged with tennis balls, but that’s far from an isolated case. Here are a few of the strangest causes of blocked drains that we’ve heard about over the years.


Children frequently ‘experiment’ with toys and plumbing, and in such situations the temptation to see if they can squeeze a toy down a plug hole can be overwhelming. Lego bricks, toy blocks, model cars and dolls are all primary culprits, and all have been found down blocked drains in the past.


Clothes are not only disposed of down the toilet by errant children, as many adults have been found guilty of this act in the past too! Because they expand when wet, clothes will almost certainly block a drain, and items of clothing as large as jeans and dresses have all been found clogging drains.


When your mobile phone is in your top pocket, it can be all too easy to see it fall out; often at the most inconvenient of times. One such inconvenient time would be when you’re near a toilet, as not only will your mobile be inevitably lost, but the size of a mobile will undoubtedly block the drain too.


From live otters, frogs and badgers, to (rather shocked) household kittens and goldfish, and even sadly deceased farm animals that have fallen down open manholes, you’d scarcely credit the sort of animals that have been found at the scene of a block drain.


The list goes on and on, with a few of our favourites being:

  • A traffic cone.
  • Bicycles and prams.
  • A Christmas tree.
  • False teeth.

As you can see, blocked drains, pipes and sewers sometimes yield the strangest of items, and you can find out more about many of these incidents in a Deadline News article from earlier this year if you don’t believe us!

Although we’re admittedly used to dealing with rather more commonplace blocked drains than these occasions, we’re proud to say that no drainage problem is too large or small for us to tackle. If you need help with blocked drains in Derby, then we’re the people to come to, so contact us by calling 0800 195 8670, 01335 360879 or emailing

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A Brief History of Drains

This article was written to help in unblocking drains Derby residents require.

We are so used to modern plumbing and sewerage today that most of us will rarely think about our drains unless there’s a problem with them. This wasn’t always the case, however – as this brief history of drains will show.

The Bronze Age

The Indus Valley civilisation, which lasted until around 1900 BCE, had the earliest known drains; archaeologists identified a system of covered drains which lined the streets to take waste water away from homes. This system, despite its age, is actually more efficient than that still used in some areas of India and Pakistan today.

Ancient Rome

The Romans are, of course, famed for the advances they brought with them, and plumbing is one of them; they brought systems using aqueducts and lead pipes (like the one pictured here) to many of the countries they conquered, including England. As well as introducing indoor plumbing, they also had sewerage systems to remove the waste; the Cloaca Maxima in Rome was one of the world’s earliest sewerage systems, carrying waste from the city out into the River Tiber.

Middle Ages

For centuries, there were no real developments in drainage, plumbing and sewerage. Most people used outhouses and cess pits. Their waste was either drained into a communal cess pool or simply thrown out into the street, which was generally designed with a slope to ensure that the water would run off. In some places, this made the streets so unclean that stepping stones were put in place to allow pedestrians to keep their feet out of the muck. In many cities, the only reason that human waste was removed was to use it as either fertiliser or to produce nitrates for the production of gunpowder.

Industrial Revolution

With the Industrial Revolution, towns and cities grew exponentially; this increase in population density increased the need for proper sanitation. The Great Stink of 1858 – where the River Thames became so clogged with sewerage that the smell disrupted deliberations in the House of Commons – prompted the introduction of a modern sewerage system in London designed by Joseph Bazalgette, and other cities followed suit. Bazalgette’s designs still form the basis for many major drains today. They not only provided for the disposal of waste from buildings, but also allowed for the run-off of rainwater. This is known today as a combined sewerage system – at the time, with no standard for treating sewerage, it was not thought necessary to separate the waste water from homes and businesses from the urban run-off.

20th Century

With modern sewerage systems in place, and the majority of homes now connected to them rather than to cess pits or pools, the remaining issue in drainage was treatment. With the discovery of activated sludge in 1912, this was resolved, and sewage treatment plants began to be constructed.

Thanks to these advances, today Britain has a reliable drainage and sewerage system that means our waste water and urban run-off is directed neatly away from our homes; we don’t have to step around muck in the street on a daily basis, and we don’t need to worry about the stink from our rivers in summer. However, if your drain gets blocked you quickly get an insight into what our ancestors lived with – and it isn’t pleasant. As experts handlers of Unblocking drain Derby residents rely on, we know that when you have a problem you want it to be fixed as quickly as possible, so contact us on 0800 195 8670 for a fast reliable service today.

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Blocked Drains: The Health Risks

This article is about unblocking drains.

A blocked drain is a real problem for a homeowner. Not only can a blocked drain be a symptom of an underlying structural problem, or the cause of an unpleasant issue like water resurgence, but a clogged drain can also carry substantial health risks too.

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Bin It, Don’t Flush It: Public Service Announcements

As well as our drain inspection services and being the go-to-specialists when it comes to blocked drains in Stoke-on-Trent, Nottingham, Derby, and Sheffield, we like to scour the internet occasionally to see how other regions are helping to tackle the issue of drain-to-brain education. In the past, we have posted numerous blogs on what not to flush as well as other instructional blogs relating to what you can and can’t and should and shouldn’t do to give your pipes a chance of a long life.

Well, some say we’re dreamers, but we’re not the only ones… Continue reading

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Water Authority Approved Surveys: Fun with Buildings

You may be pleasantly surprised to find that we don’t just deal with blocked drains in Sheffield, Nottingham, and Derby. One of our other useful services dabbles in the wonderful world of water authority approved surveys (WRC).

When it comes to building a brand new part of your office block, expanding your sitting room, adding on an extra bedroom or even attaching that long-awaited conservatory onto the back of your house, it’s no secret that this particular stepping stone in your property development can be very exciting. You’ve been saving up for this next stage in your property transformation for a good couple of years. You’ve thought through all of the ups and downs, considered all of the different designs, but have you thought about your water drains? Continue reading

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Sewer Bowling: Paris’ Unusual Sewer Cleaning System

There’s not much normal about the Paris sewer systems, for one you could have a tour by boat through the sewer system until pretty recently. But the way that they sometimes clean the sewers is probably the most bizarre in the world.

Sewer systems need a constant flow of water through them to stop things sticking around for too long or backing up. Occasionally a blockage will stop or slow this water and it’ll have to be cleaned out somehow. In the smaller, domestic pipes companies like us, who are experienced in dealing with blocked drains in Stoke-On-Trent, are hired to sort out the problem quickly, but with larger sewers, more drastic measures need to be taken. Continue reading

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Should You Clean Your Own Drains?

Here at Inspect-a-Drain we are often called out to finish a job that has been started by someone hoping to save a little money by trying to clear their own drains. In spite of how disgusting and dangerous drains can be, intrepid homeowners often choose to attempt a clearance on their own, time and time again.

Now personally we know that this is a bad idea but we are pretty biased, in order to give a definitive answer to whether you should or shouldn’t do it yourself, we have by comparing the pros and cons of both options.

Drains Derby


Doing it Yourself


-          You might save some money (presuming that you already have the equipment and don’t break anything in the process)


-          Dirty

-          Smelly

-          Potentially dangerous

-          You could potentially cause costly damage

-          Many drains are hard to access

-          You might compact the blockage and make it worse

-          Potentially dangerous (we know it’s in twice but it really is dangerous!)

This list could go on forever, and believe us when we say that these are all more common issues than you would think. Thankfully there is an alternative way to get rid of your blocked drains in Derby, Nottingham, and Sheffield in the shape of Inspect-A-Drain, we have years of experience in ensuring that your drains are cleared safely and thoroughly. In order to illustrate just how much easier and better an option hiring a professional is, we’ve listed the pros and cons below.

Hiring a Professional 

Blocked Drain Derby



-          You needn’t lift a finger
-          No danger involved
-          We assess the blockage (avoids any further damage to potentially collapsed sections)
-          No need to buy special tools (we’ve got them all and more)
-          We give you a price upfront before the work is undertaken


-          None! Not a single one!

So there you have it, a definitive and almost entirely objective perspective on whether you should attempt to clear your own drains. Hopefully, we’ve convinced you and next time you notice a blockage you’ll simply contact us and let our experienced and professional team take care of the rest.

For blocked drains Derby people trust, contact us now.

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