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How to identify what type of drainage system you have

Think you might have a problem with your underground drainage?

It’s not impossible but, in order to take the appropriate action and rectify the issue effectively, you need to know what type of drainage system you have. Luckily, here at Total Pipeline Systems, we are experts in underground drainage and thought we’d share some top tips.

Types of drainage system

Most homes have two underground drainage systems – one for foul water and another for surface water – and they must remain separate.

  • Surface water drainage

The purpose of a surface water drain is to carry rainwater and runoff away from your property’s roof or paved areas (i.e. gutters, patios, driveways, roads or playing fields). The surface water is collected in drains and gullies and can be returned to the watercourse untreated – providing it is not contaminated with foul water as this will pollute the local watercourse.

  • Foul water drainage

Foul drainage is the system of pipework that carries wastewater from your home – typically the bathroom, kitchen or utility room – to a treatment works. For properties that are connected to the mains drainage, foul water from your toilet, bath, shower or washing machine will be transferred to a local sewage treatment plant before it returns to the water system.

Easy ways to identify your drainage system

There are several things you can do to determine what type of underground drainage system you have. Here we list just a few of them:

  1. Consider your property’s age

Some older properties are connected to a combined drainage system where both foul and surface water run through the same pipework. However, foul water cannot discharge into surface water drains unless a permit has been obtained from the Environment Agency. And this will only be on the basis that it is treated before being safely returned to the watercourse.

       2. Take a look at the property’s title deeds

One way to find out what type of drainage you have, and to learn more about the structure of your system, is to check your house deeds and drainage plans. This information will prove useful if you’re contemplating building next to your property, adding an extension or fixing a broken underground drainage pipe.

       3. Check for manhole covers

The chances are, if you have multiple manhole covers, you have a dual drainage system that carries both soil and wastewater away from your home.

      4. Arrange a CCTV drain survey

If you can’t find your drainage plans, but want to know more about your underground drainage, it’s worth having a survey carried out by drainage specialists. They use state-of-the-art cameras to inspect your drain pipes and can provide detailed information about the system itself, the layout and where exactly your drains run.

Need to replace parts of your underground drainage system?

Once you’ve established whether your system is combined or not, you can then consider making the required changes (i.e. installing 110mm underground drainage pipes, a drainage gully or land drain or swapping pipe fittings for new).

Be sure to take a look at our extensive underground drainage collection, here at Total Pipes. We stock everything from drain inspection chambers to gully traps, land drainage pipes, twin wall pipes and more. And the best bit? We pride ourselves on competitive pricing and quick turnaround times.

For more information about underground drainage pipes and the products we supply, get in touch with the team today. We would love to hear from you!