Common Urban Drainage Issues And How To Fix Them

20 Jan, 2021

Common Urban Drainage Issues And How To Fix Them

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If you are an urban homeowner and you have trees on your property consider their affect on your neighbourhood.  Trees have many positive powers on their environment. Their natural aesthetic brings joy to many. They act as the lungs of our urban environments. However, as they grow they can also create issues in crowded cities and towns.

Drains are affected above the ground and below the ground by tree roots and blockages above the ground. There are many other issues that can affect urban drains. Here are some of the common ones we experience and how to fix them.

Urban drainage issues you might experience – And the fixes 

drainage problems
However attractive trees next to your house may cause issues

As our cities become more built up, our drains are feeling the strain of the extra water usage. We all have a part to play to help alleviate the pressure on our sewers and pipes. This is both in our own self-interest and for the sake of the environment.

The best way we can help prevent damage and blockages in the drainage system is by maintaining our own drains.  And that any issues we detect are dealt with quickly and appropriately. One effective tool for drain maintenance is Kpipe. Kpipe offers a range of products designed to keep your drains clear and functioning optimally.

With an ever increasing population, if we are to prevent significant drainage issues, everyone must take responsibility for their roles in reducing the strain. Here are a few of the most common urban drainage issues and what you can do to help fix them.

Drains that smell count as drainage issues

A drain that has an unpleasant smell can be a sign of blockage. If you notice any unusual smells coming from your drains, it is essential that you ascertain the cause so that you can take the best course of action to correct it.

Using a combination of baking soda and hot water to flush out your drains may be enough to get rid of the smell. Baking soda is excellent at absorbing foul odours, and hot water will help rinse away anything that may be stuck in your drain.

If the smell persists despite taking these actions, then you should call a professional to have your drains examined, as there may be a blockage that is too advanced for home remedies.

Pests in your drains

Many types of insects thrive in our drains. Drain pests can be caused by the combination of a moist environment and food being washed down your drain. If left untreated then pests can end up entering your home via your drains.

Regular cleaning is crucial to preventing drain insects from becoming a problem in your home. It would help if you regularly flush your drains with a bleach or vinegar and water solution. Drain insects will be unable to thrive in a clean drain.

If you already have pests in your drains, then there are a number of commercial insecticides that you can use to remove them. If this does not work, then it is vital that you enlist the help of a professional pest control company to remove the pests.

Avoid food waste in the drains

Rats are another pest that can be attracted to drains and can also create drainage issues. Fortunately, these cannot reach your home via your plug holes, but they will still need dealing with promptly. Rats can cause serious damage to pipes which can then enable them to enter your home.

You should avoid letting any food go down the drain as this is one of the most common reasons that rats may be attracted to your drains. If you notice rats coming and going from your outer drains, it is essential that you get a pest control service to remove them.

drainage issues
Public drains can be blocked by fallen leaves

Slow moving drains

There are a number of reasons that your drains could be draining slowly. Here are some signs of a bigger drainage issue. If you have noticed that your bath starts to fill up while you shower.

If your sinks are draining gradually you could have drainage issues. And if your toilet is taking longer to flush then this could be a sign that your drains need some attention. These are all signs of drainage issues.

There are a few home solutions that you can try to see if there is a blockage causing your slow moving drains.

Commercial drain un-blocker and using a plunger is one way to try to dislodge any near blockage. Try these at the very first sign of slow moving drains. They might act as quick treatment resolving the problem before it gets worse.

Slow moving drains are often an early sign of what could become a major issue. If you have tried commercial drain un-blocker or plunging and there is no improvement, it is vital that you get in touch with a professional drainage service.

Drain Detectives offer expert, professional drainage repairs and will have the knowledge and experience to solve any drainage issue you may have.

Drain grates

Another way to protect the drains is to cover them with up to date grates designed for efficiency. There are a range of effective options from plain straightforward grates to decorative grates available.

Frozen pipes

Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze, which can cause a number of problems for your drains and the broader drainage system. There are two key ways to identify frozen drains. Firstly if there is little water coming from your taps, and secondly by visually inspecting your outside pipes.

You can prevent drains from freezing by investing in some pipe insulation to cover your outdoor piping. For PVC Drainage Pipe, use pipe insulation specifically designed for PVC pipes. You can find foam or fiberglass pipe insulation at most hardware or home improvement stores.

This is only suitable for drains that you can easily access so may not protect all pipes that could freeze in cold weather. You can find insulation for pipes and water tanks and many DIY shops, which is a cost-effective way to keep your pipes safe in winter.

If you notice your taps running slowly in cold weather, you should stop using them immediately, as the pressure building up on frozen pipes can cause damage. To thaw out pipes, you could use a hairdryer or towels soaked in hot water. You mustn’t use boiling water or the hottest setting on a hairdryer as this can cause cracking.

Cracked drains can also cause drainage issues

The main sign of cracked drains is a foul smell outside your home. This is caused by water sitting stagnant where it is leaking from your pipes. Cracked drains can be caused by wear and tear or cold weather. If you notice a foul smell or see that your drains are cracked from a visual inspection, immediately call a drainage professional.

Cracked drains will eventually cause further serious issues both environmentally and to your drainage system. Having a professional fix any cracking is key to ensuring your home and pipes’ overall health and structural integrity.

Drainage issues because of burst pipes

Burst pipes are one of the most severe drainage issues you can encounter. A burst pipe can cause flooding, which will damage your home and belongings and compromise your property’s structural soundness.

drainage issues
Tree roots can interrupt public drains

If a pipe bursts in your home you should immediately shut the water supply off using the stopcock. Turn on all the taps in your home. It will help to siphon off any water left in the system so that it will exit down your drains, rather than into your home.

Any flooding that has occurred should be immediately soaked up using towels to prevent as much damage as possible. Once you have taken these steps, immediately get in touch with a professional plumber to fix the burst drain.

You must never try to fix a burst pipe by yourself. Improper work on your drainage system can cause further damage without you realising it.

Root intrusions causing drainage issues

Root intrusions occur when a tree or plant’s roots grow too close to underground drainage, eventually hitting pipes. If this happens, then you will need a professional to remove the roots from your pipes and fix the damage.

There are a number of ways you can prevent root intrusions. If you want trees in your garden, plant or replant them as far away from your underground piping as possible.

If you are planting new trees on your property consider less invasive, slower-growing greenery. They will pose less of a threat to your pipes.

What is more, you can also install barriers to protect your pipes from root intrusion. Make sure to keep trees and plants well-trimmed to prevent excessive growth.

Handling drainage issues in summary

In summary, maintain your own property and drains to ensure free a flowing system around your property. Ensure you under take regular checks and maintenance to minimise drainage issues. Therefore, to minimise urban drainage issues, manage the trees old and new growing on your terrain to optimise your own soil and drainage system.


Outdoor drainage system to improve your property

Plumbing maintenance – What not to flush down the drains

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Home maintenance – Signs of water damage to watch out for



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