Sewer and drainage systems

Feb 15, 2016    //   

Sewers were born out of sheer necessity. If we go back say 5,000 years, there is evidence of what we would call open sewers, long trenches that led to pools. Well we’ve come a long way since then, with sealed sewage systems that lead to waste treatment plants. In an urban setting, rainwater will seep into the ground naturally, however, with so much concrete and roads, the water is directed into the sewage system, and heavy rain can cause what is known as flash flooding. This means there is a temporary flood, as the water cannot drain away fast enough.


Drainage systems

There are different drainage systems,

Ø  Residential drains: These run waste from your house into the main council drains

Ø  Council drains: These run into the main sewer system

Ø  Main sewer system takes all water / waste into the sea or to chemical waste treatment plants

Drain blockages

Like all pipe systems, drains can become blocked with many obstacles. Large objects can cause serious damage if not removed. The responsibility is shared, if the blockage occurs in the residential area, then the homeowner is responsible, however, if the blockage is in the street, then this becomes the responsibility of the local council. If you need a Melbourne plumber, there are several online services to choose from.


There are many causes of residential drain blockages,

Ø  Cooking fat and leftover food is a major cause of blockages

Ø  Tissue paper and tampons: These should be wrapped, and put in the trash bin

Ø  Other non-biodegradable items


What to do if you experience a blockage

Most people try to unblock a drain by applying chemicals that break down the elements that are blocking the system. Using these strong chemicals can be dangerous, so it is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. More and more people are using natural remedies such as baking soda. Should the blockage occur at the kitchen sink for example, pour one full cup of baking soda down the sink. This should be followed by two cups of boiling water, then wait for a few minutes. Then add one more cup of baking soda, which should then be followed by a cup of plain white vinegar. At this point, you should hear bubbling noises, as the baking soda and vinegar begin to work on the blockage. Do not be alarmed by this noise, it is a good sign. As soon as the bubbling ceases, pour two more cups of boiling water down the sink and this should remove the blockage. If the blockage is persistent, call a Melbourne plumber, who will be able to clear the blockage with his repertoire of tools.


Unpleasant odours

Blockages are usually accompanied by bad odours, something that we all dislike. One thing to remember, is to remove all waste food products from the kitchen sink, the main cause of unpleasant odours. Create a compost heap in a corner of the garden, as this will provide nutrients for your flowers and shrubs. In the event of a major blockage, there is little alternative to calling in the professionals who are very experienced in all types of blockages. 

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