On your property there are two separate drainage systems: waste water drainage and storm water drainage. Which are separate systems designed for the health and safety of the community and our environment.
Wastewater drainage is designed for the drainage and treatment of waste water following human use. Such as drainage from the kitchen, bathroom, laundry and toilet. This must be treated before it can enter our water ways, whereas storm water drains redirects rainwater into the nearest water way to prevent water pooling or flooding.
Blockages can occur in each of these systems for different reasons, and some blockages can be prevented if we are careful about what we put down our drains.
Waste water drains
You may find you have a blocked waste water drain, due to “backing up” of the water which has been flushed, rather than draining away as it should.
Paper towels, sanitary products, nappies, and even flush able wipes should not be flushed down the toilet, as these items can obstruct the pipe and cause blockages. Some wipes may be advertised as “flushable” which can be misleading as our drains are not designed to be able to cope with a build up of such items.
In the kitchen, it is best to avoid flushing fats and oils and food down the sink, as fats and oils from cooking solidify as they cool. It is beneficial to regularly clean plug and wastes and remove build up from shower wastes.
You can try maintenance cleaning of waste pipes by using a cupful of white vinegar followed by a jug of hot water, it’s best to avoid purchasing chemical products as these can cause further problems and be hazardous to your health. It can be a good idea to have your own plunger, as some blockages can be cleared using this, however if you are unable to clear a blockage with a plunger it is best to call a professional for assistance.
Additional signs and indications of blocked drains include:
- Gurgling sounds coming from the toilet when flushed
- Bad odours coming from drains or sinks
- Water draining slowly from sinks, toilets or showers
Storm water drains
You may notice your storm water is blocked following periods of heavy rain, if there are areas where water is pooling somewhere around the property. This could be due to leaves, silt and dirt or rubbish build up in the drains, or a blocked soak pit.
Tree roots can enter into old earthenware pipes and cause damage requiring repairs, so it’s best to be aware of where your drains are located before planting trees or arrange maintenance clearing cyclically to prevent tree roots from causing major breaks.
It is important to consider that what we put down our drains will eventually make its way to our waterways, so please consider the environment before you flush.