Top Tips For A Healthy Drainage System

When it comes to maintaining your drains in the best possible running condition, prevention really is key. Indeed an essential part of drain maintenance is resolving any issues before they have a chance to develop into a more serious problem. One of the first warning signs that you may have a blockage building in your drain, is when it starts to drain slower, which is the perfect time to act to prevent further problems .

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What Happens After You Flush


It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to answer it. Water waste doesn’t magically disappear just because you’ve drained a bath or flushed the toilet. Instead, it goes on quite a journey that, while it may not be clean, is a technological marvel.

So let’s start at the beginning. You’ve flushed a toilet, and watched the water swirl and get sucked down the U-bend. That’s when the waste is transported to a pipe that is connected to all the other houses in the vicinity, and from there, the accumulated waste is taken to another pipe which serves your entire neighbourhood. This pipe, commonly known as a trunk sewer, is also where rain and other street debris goes once it’s slipped down a storm drain.

And then it’s off to the treatment plant with it. The primary treatment involves letting any solid debris like plastics and wood settle before removing it and hauling it off to a landfill. Meanwhile, heavy organic sludge is generally pumped out into the ocean, while the rest of the waste water, complete with the lighter scum, courses through the system and onto the second stage of treatment.

This second stage involves being pumped through a tank filled with bacteria known as ‘floc’, which thrive and multiply on the organic materials deposited. It’s the circle of life in action, and the bacteria is recycled again and again for this function. That’s when we reach the third stage, as the water is treated with chemicals like chlorine which kills off any harmful bacteria and eases the prevalence of the ‘floc’.

Finally, the water is filtered through sand and charcoal. Only then can it be considered clean enough to re-enter the water supply – fit for you to drink, or bathe in, or flush down the lavatory. Then the whole cycle starts again.

Well, that’s what should happen. But if you’re having problems with blocked drains Nottingham residents sometimes suffer from, you can contact us on 0115 8226086 or 07967 029298 and our drain specialists will get your waters flowing again.

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Puppy Power: Terrier Rescued from Drain

Old toys, fax machines, bikes and alligators – there have been a lot of crazy things discovered down drains but this one really does take the (dog) biscuit.


We’ve all lost or misplaced prized possessions and we all know that faint twinge of horror as the realisation dawns upon us. Well, you can up that horror ten-fold if you’re Andrew Kelly. The North Shields resident has taken it a whole step further when he lost his puppy, Ella.

The little black Patterdale Terrier became the centre of a massive rescue mission, which probably wouldn’t look out of place in a Hollywood movie, after disappearing down a school drainage system. It seems Ella got a little curious while sniffing around the gully feeding system, and ended up trapped beneath Monkseaton High School.

Kelly said, ‘It was about 5pm and I had her out on her walk. She usually doesn’t move from my side but she got a smell of something.’ Although he could hear the poor dog barking and crying out, Kelly couldn’t quite figure out precisely where she was. Kelly explained that he was, ‘absolutely devastated when Ella went missing; I really thought she was gone forever. After trying for ages to get her out, by shouting her name and leaving food for her, I had to leave as I work night shifts. My friends went along but they could only hear her cries. I went back at 5am, straight from work, and met the school caretaker, Nikky Boak, and the council was called. Next thing, there were loads of people there from different organisations trying to find her.’


Once the council was involved, Kelly and co. were able to source plans of the sewer system running underneath the high school. From there, they were able to ascertain the location of the manhole covers along the drain’s route, and after prising up a few, discovered the cowering terrier.

Commenting on the incident afterwards, Ella’s owner said, ‘Ella is completely fine after her night away, you wouldn’t think anything had even happened. I couldn’t be happier to have her back and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved. They all went out of their way to help and I couldn’t have asked for better service. Ella’s fine now, although she slept all day and night when she got home. She won’t be allowed off the lead from now on.’

Aw, we do love a happy ending.

Here at Inspect a Drain, we specialise in unblocking blocked drains in Nottingham. Whatever the issue with your drainage system – whether it’s blocked from natural causes like fallen leaves, or your gorgeous little terrier – we’ll be happy to help. For more information, please contact us on 0115 8226086 or 07967 029298.

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Fun Facts…about DRAINS!

That’s right, you read the title correctly – we’re going to share a few interesting and fun facts about drains and plumbing. We know that when you take the time to think about drains, it’s usually when they don’t work and are causing you hassle! But admittedly, we really would be pretty lost without them, and a little bit smelly – in fact, don’t imagine a world without drains, it will only make you feel ill.

So, here we go… we’ll begin with the fascinating history of drains…


2500 BC – Egyptians

The Egyptians were one of the first documented civilisations to have created drainage systems. Water was a huge part of their purification rituals, so it was important to have clean, healthy water – see, we told you that drains were interesting…

1700 BC – The Minoans

In Knossos on the Greek Island of Crete, The Minoan Palace has four, that’s right FOUR whole drainage systems. These systems emptied sewage into vast sewers made of stone – it must have taken a lot of effort to build and fix them!

800 BC – 4th Century AD – The Romans

The Romans not only laid strong, straight roads, they also created sewer systems in Rome that were known as Cloaca Maxima. Now, we all know that the Romans loved their baths and to ensure that they enjoyed the luxurious soak that they so desired, they needed clean and safe water.


The Romans famously invented the aqueduct, some of which are still used today to supply bath houses with water. They didn’t stop there; by 4th century AD Rome had 1,352 fountains, 11 public bath houses and a breathtaking 856 private baths – we take our hard hats off to you, Romans!

1775 – England

Our very own Alexander Cumming patented the two piece flushing toilet design. In fact his basic design is still used today, although it was improved by Joseph Bramar in 1778. Where would we be without the flushing toilet? In an unpleasant place, that’s where!

1870 – England

Thomas Twyford created a revolutionary one piece toilet – complete without any metal parts! He was the first one to create a wholly ceramic toilet. This is the type of toilet that you’ll see in stores mostly today – thanks Tom!

So, there you go; a brief insight into the wonderful history of drains with some fun facts to boot – we bet that these come in handy at your next pub quiz!

Here at Inspect-a-Drain we take care of blocked drains Derby residents sometimes suffer from plus the surrounding areas and offer a large range of drainage services. If you would like more information about who we are and what we do, please get in contact! Call now on 0115 8226086 or 07967 029298 to discuss your drainage problems today.

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Preparing Your Drains for Winter

This week marked the official start of autumn, and with the nights drawing in there’s no getting away from the fact that winter will soon be on its way. Drainage problems such as blocked drains and flooding are particularly common in winter due to a combination of factors such as the cold and wet weather. However here we give a few handy hints and tips to help you avoid any drainage problems in your property this winter.

Use your heating

During the winter the pipes in your drains are at increased risk of bursting due to cold weather. This is because at very cold temperatures there is a chance that the water in your drainage pipes may freeze. When water freezes it expands, which can subsequently cause the pipes to burst. Burst pipes are a particularly nasty problem and can lead to water damage in your home. To help prevent this you should consider leaving your heating on at a low level even when you are not at home, as this will help to keep warm air circulating in your home, thus helping to prevent your drainage pipes from freezing.

Turn off the taps

Interestingly, dripping taps can also increase the chances of your pipes freezing this winter. This is because when water is moving slowly it is more likely to freeze. Hence it is important you make sure you turn your taps off completely.



It’s also important to clear your drains before the winter rain hits, as if there is an existing blockage then this can lead to flooding in the event of heavy rain. One of the major causes of blocked drains at this time of year is a build up of debris such as leaves and twigs, which can clog your drains and prevent water from running freely in outside drains. Hence it is important to clear any such debris from around your drains before it has time to build up.

Here at Inspect-A-Drain our knowledgeable experts have many years of experience of treating blocked drains in Sheffield. So if you’re having trouble with your drains please do not hesitate to contact us and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with your enquiries.

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Fatbergs: A Sewers Worst Nightmare

In recent news from the BBC, it was reported that the ‘biggest ever ‘fatberg’ has been removed from a London Sewer’. According to the article, Thames Water states that the lump was around the size of a bus. The sewer blockage had a huge affect on the area, with residents complaining that their toilets could not be flushed. This could have led to a huge back up in the plumbing system, and could even have flooded homes and businesses with raw sewage.

See the video below:

What is a ‘Fatberg’?

As the name suggests, a ‘fatberg’ is a collection of grease, fat, and oils together with hand towels, and other papers. Although the problem is most notable in London and larger cities, there is a risk of the problem developing throughout the country if care isn’t taken when discarding cooking fats, oils etc – especially in the food service industry. This problem is caused by liquid fat and foods being poured down the drain; this then congeals and builds up becoming larger and larger (the London sewer system for example), eventually leading to blocked sewers and drains.

Preventative Methods

To prevent the build up of fat in drainage systems and sewers, it is important to allow hot fat to cool in a container before discarding it in the bin rather than pouring the substance down the sink or drain. Papers that do not break up, such as hand towels, nappies etc should not be flushed down the toilet as these also contribute to the build up of ‘fatbergs’.

Fatbergs can cause substantial drainage issues, as disposal costs can be expensive; however, immediate treatment of this problem is necessary, especially in built up city areas. Before pouring fat down the sink, think twice; you could be creating a fatberg!

Here at Inspect-a-Drain we provide excellent services for blocked drains in Stoke-on-Trent for domestic and commercial clients, so if you’re suffering at the hands of problematic drains in the area, please get in contact. Call our professional team on 0800 195 8670 or 07967 029298 to speak to us today.

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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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