Why is it important to clear blocked drains quickly?

Maintaining a home can be a big job, and with many of us tight on time, we can prioritise seemingly urgent DIY tasks, whilst leaving others for another day. A blocked drain can seem like a minor inconvenience. You might just put some bleach down it and hope for the best, or clear the drain cover if it’s external.

It’s easy to push this task down your to-do list, but over time, this can cause you further issues and expense if it’s not properly dealt with. If you’ve ever had a blocked drain, you’ll know first-hand just how annoying it can be. And with the average person in the UK using 150 litres of water per day, it’s clear that drains are an integral part of modern living, and we need them to be working optimally at all times. Here, we list the top reasons why it’s important to clear blocked drains quickly.

Blocked drains stop drainage

This sounds obvious, but have you ever considered what no drainage means for you and your home? Inside, it will likely mean that you can’t use your sink, and outside, it might mean that those soapy suds from washing your car instead flow onto your lovely lawn.

Blocked drains also mean a build-up of old food, mud or other waste materials, which start to smell and are unhygienic. In addition, blocked drains can provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria and insects. Especially if you’re got young children, you’ll want to make sure that you remove any potentially harmful waste from your home as quickly as possible so that they can’t get their hands in it, and this means keeping your drains clean.

Blocked drains can cost you money

If they’re not sorted, blocked drains can also overflow. No one wants waste water coming back up into their house – not only will it leave a horrible smell, but it could also leave you with some costly repair work if the water gets to your flooring.

With the rising cost of living, no-one wants to be paying out for things that they don’t need to be. Regularly maintaining your drains does mean that you might need to buy a few small items, but it will save you the cost of an emergency callout later down the line. If getting your hands dirty isn’t your thing, you may also decide to enlist the help of a professional, before the issue gets out of hand. Getting expert help is the best way to get peace of mind that your drains are being properly looked after.

How can I unblock my drains?

If the drain is inside your property boundaries, it’s generally your responsibility to fix. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your drains clear and help reduce the risk of a problem forming in the first place. For example, avoid pouring grease or food down the drain, and use a mesh screen to catch hair and other debris. 

There are several home solutions that you can easily make to regularly clean your drains. For example, a combination of baking soda and vinegar is a simple yet effective option, and it’s safe to use your sink again immediately after cleaning. First, pour hot water down the sink, followed by a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar. This can break up any blockages, and then you should also make sure to regularly clean your drains with a plunger or snake. By following these simple tips, you can help prevent a small blockage from becoming a big problem.

If you do find yourself with an emergency situation, it’s always best to call an expert and get their help. You may think that the drain will sort itself out, but it’s imperative you address the problem as soon as you can, to help keep your home and your family safe – getting this problem sorted quickly is worth the extra cost. 

To sum up

Cleaning your drains doesn’t need to be a big task if it’s completed regularly. However, leaving the problem to build up can cause an issue further down the line, and an additional expense. To avoid this, try to reduce the amount of material that goes down the drain that isn’t water, clear off any leaves from external drains, and habitually clean them with baking soda and vinegar.

A Brief History of London’s Drain Systems

London’s drainage system as we see it today is incredibly different from what it once was. A key part of the water infrastructure that serves the vast majority of Greater London and is operated by Thames Water, the sewage system was once the cause of disease and destruction as human waste was unloaded directly into the river.

Before it was redesigned by respected architect Joseph Balzagette, in the early 19th Century it resulted in 1000s of people across the capital contracting diseases such as cholera as the River Thames acted as an open sewer. An event also known as the Great Stink, the hot weather exacerbated the smell of human waste throughout the city, making it an unbearable place to live – no matter what class you were of.

The contamination of the water alongside proposals made in the early 1700s were some of the reasons as to why the need for it to be redesigned became so prevalent. It was, however, delayed until the influential Metropolitan Board of Works was created in 1856 due to the costs associated with the construction. The costs and proposals to modernise the drainage system, weren’t, however, agreed by parliament until after the horrific Great Stink of 1858.

As gravity resulted in the sewage flowing towards the east, located such as Deptford, Abbey Mills and Chelsea required an additional installation. Pumping stations were created to help provide sufficient flow and to raise water levels.

The Impact of Joseph Bazalgette

As mentioned above, Joseph Bazalegette was an architect who helped to redesign the London drainage system. But he was also the chief engineer in the Metropolitan Board of Works in the mid to late 19th Century and had an incredibly significant impact on the design and effect of the drainage system. Directly improving its appearance, as well as resulting in an improvement in the health of London’s residents, his actions are an important part of London’s history.

Joseph Bazalgette was elected as chief engineer, supervising public works in an extraordinary way across the city. By 1866, London’s drainage system was transformed to include a series of connected sewer networks which was devised by Bazalgette himself. Diverting the water from the underground rivers and sewers to low-level sewers built behind the embankments, before the waste ended up in the Thames Estuary, it was an incredible and drastic change that was much overdue.

In 1870, the Victoria and Albert Embankments were opened. These were designed to replace the Thames shore which was once only tidal mud with the reclaimed and supportive ground. Protecting the low-level sewers, underground railway and service subway, it was a welcome addition that kickstarted an array of other embankments being built – such as the Chelsea Embankment which was completed four years later.

London’s Drain System Today

We no longer have to worry as much about drainage as we once did. The chance of an event such as the Great Stink is, most likely, a thing of the past which won’t happen again. Throughout the 20th Century, major improvements to the drainage system continued to occur which in turn reduced the pollution that began to occur in the North Sea and the Thames Estuary.

Proposals for projects such as the Thames Tideway Scheme is underway to increase the capacity of London’s sewage system. As the population grows, as does the need for improvements to the structure. And this development is just one of the steps needed to keep up with the demand for an efficient and fully-functional sewerage system in the capital.

Now something that we take for granted, it is fascinating to discover the history of the drainage system and how it has transformed over the years thanks to innovative minds such as Joseph Bazalgette.

Blocked Drains London 

Even though blocked drains might not seem as big of a worry in the present day, it is something that still occurs. At Quick Clear Drainage we work on fixing any blocked drain issues that occur throughout the city. Experts in drainage London, we have years of experience with London drains and understand the need to effectively fix the issue as quickly as possible.

As soon as you notice a drainage issue, whether it is within your business or home, get in contact with us and we will be on hand to help. If you have a blocked toilet or sink, we are your first port of call every time. Using our expertise and state-of-the-art technology, we offer a high-quality service that’s affordable and efficient. A trusted company that puts our customers first, we have an array of glowing reviews on Google.

Want to find out more about the drainage services we offer? Give us a call today on 0203 633 3897 or by email on [email protected].

Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash.