Project: Drainage interceptor unblocking
Customer: Bouygues E&S FM UK
Sector: Facilities Management
Location: South London
A badly blocked interceptor on a main foul drain was causing serious problems at one of the main campuses for the University of the Arts London. Sewage was backing up into the drainage system at the Camberwell College site. Relays of tankers were pumping out the system to prevent flooding. UKDN Waterflow (LG) Ltd was called in to devise a solution. The blockage had to be cleared over a weekend. On Monday morning, thousands of students would return to classes, placing maximum demand on the drainage system.
UKDN Waterflow (LG) worked with colleagues from Lanes Group to devise an effective solution for a problem that needed to have a first time fix. There were three elements:
- Remove foul water from the system
- Use advanced jetting technology from Lanes Group to clean the interceptor
- Survey the interceptor and pipework to confirm it was clear.
“UKDN Waterflow (LG) did a very good job, and it was clear the team back-up and resources from Lanes Group played an important part in a successful solution. Everyone worked well together on the day. The approach of UKDN Waterflow (LG) was very professional and they worked hard to get everything in place so the blockage could be cleared quickly.”
Roger Murphy, M&E Supervisor, Bouygues E&M FM UK
Bouygues E&M FM UK is part of the Bouygues Energies & Services Group, which provides engineering and service capabilities from conception, design and construction through to facility management within the UK. It delivers sustainable FM solutions in the public and private sectors.
The blockage clearance plan was activated on Saturday morning. Three tankers were deployed to pump out the college’s drainage system, and be on standby to manage any changes in water flows during the operation.
An estimated 15,000 litres of waste water were removed from the 30mm diameter drain, a combined waste water pipe that fed into a 450mm diameter public sewer in the road outside the college.
The next step was to clean the interceptor which was located on the foul pipe just before it joined the public sewer. For this task, UKDN Waterflow (LG) could call on the use of a Combi recycler jet vac tanker operated by Lanes Group, its parent company.
The machine is more powerful than a standard jet vac tanker. This was important, it was clearly a serious blockage, and a first-time fix was needed.
Once the drain was pumped out, the underlying problem was a build-up of hardened scale. These mineral deposits narrow the pipe wall. Materials wrongly disposed of down drains, such as wipes and sanitary products, can snag on scaling. Hardened fats, oils and grease (FOG) can build up behind it, creating fatbergs.
With its extra power, the Combi jet vac blasted the scale off the pipe. The CCTV drainage survey team confirmed the interceptor was clear and free-flowing. It surveyed all drains feeding into the interceptor to make sure they were clear as well.
- The foul drain blockage was removed as planned
- The drainage system was working optimally in time for the college to reopen on Monday
- Bouygues E&M FM UK could confidently inform their client the problem was solved.
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