24 FebFlushing with pride: HRH Prince Charles Visits London’s Super Sewer

His Royal Highness Prince Charles, heir to the throne, recently toured the newly-constructed Lee Tunnel, which holds the honour of being London’s deepest sewer.

Charles donned a bright orange hi-vis and hard hat over his usual pinstriped suit as he was shown around by a group of engineers who all worked on the tunnel’s construction.

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75 metres below the surface of London the Lee Tunnel is an incredible seven km long, seven metres wide and cost a staggering £635m to build.

The tunnel was built to put an end to leakage from London’s overworked Victorian sewer system, which is causing 39 million tonnes of waste to leak into the Thames every year.

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Prince Charles was also shown around the Abbey Mills pumping station which sits next to the Lee tunnel and was built as part of London’s original sewer system in 1865.

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Opened by Charles’ great-great-grandfather Edward VII 150 years ago the Victorian sewer system was designed and built as a response to The Great Stink of 1858, caused by the wholesale dumping of waste in the river Thames.

The Great Stink was so bad that Benjamin Disraeli, then Prime Minister, called the Thames ‘a Stygian pool, reeking with ineffable and intolerable horrors’

If you want to know a bit more about the history of blocked drains London, have a look here, where we cover the Great Stink and London’s response in a bit more detail.

Do you have blocked drains?

The message here is always check, if you have blocked drains in London then you need to find the root of the problem and tackle it using professional help before it grows beyond your control. Please get in touch either via the Contact Us section on our website or call us on  020 3556 4453 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

10 Feb7 strange and amazing things found in public drains

Anyone that’s ever had to unblock a sink or any workman that’s ever had to inspect a drain will tell you that some really disgusting things do end up in our drains. However there are some times when disgusting just doesn’t cut it, when what’s found in the drain is beyond and above the call of duty for anyone but a professional to remove. Our own personal experience has given us some nasty shocks but they don’t really compare to finding:

 

1) This 14-foot alligator found during sewer maintenance works in Tampa, Florida.

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2) This £21,000 stolen Rolex found by a street cleaner in Essex.

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3) 6 of these man-eating piranhas found in the Midlands after nearby

residents complained of a fishy smell leaking from their drains.

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4) This small child recently found abandoned in a drain in Sydney.

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5) This now-famous 66ft fatberg found underneath Westminster.

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6) This Mexican King Desert Snake found in, of all places, Scotland’s sewer system.

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7) And finally, these homeless people who have built whole lives in the Las Vegas storm drain system.

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The sheer scale and range of what we throw away on a daily basis is staggering and is also a major cause of drain blockages. As seen above these blockages can be as simple and horrifying as the 66-foot fatberg (which was caused by flushed wet wipes) or as mind-numbingly horrifying as a fully-grown alligator.

 

Do you have blocked drains?

The message here is always check, if you have blocked drains in London then you need to find the root of the problem and tackle it using professional help before it grows beyond your control. Please get in touch either via the Contact Us section on our website or call us on  020 3556 4453 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

05 FebGrease Traps: Do you need one?

Domestic

Put in very simple terms a grease trap is a drainage system that separates fats and grease from the main drainage system. If you’re a homeowner and a cook you’ll probably already know that as fat, oil and grease from cooking cools, it hardens and congeals. It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to see how this could cause blocked drains, which would stop water and other waste draining away.

The usual suggestion here, and this is something that adverts love to tell you, is to use something like bleach or detergents for drain unblocking to cleanse the pipes. Like most quick fixes, this is only temporary and, in most cases, will only cause the blockage to move further down into your drainage system where it will accumulate and cause another, bigger blockage.

This is where grease traps come in. They’re relatively unknown to London’s domestic market but are something that’s becoming increasingly popular with commercial customers (see below). They work by trapping grease and fats on the surface while allowing water to drain from the system, meaning that you’ll never have to get the plunger out again. They also deal with the collected grease by using a variety of bacteria (don’t worry, they’re good bacteria!) to eat away at the grease and convert it into mainly water and some carbon dioxide. If you have a large, hungry household in London and are worried about the level of grease in your pipes then a grease trap may be for you. In most cases the single cost will offset the stress and cost of having to get your pipes cleansed time and time again.

 

Commercial

There is virtually no kind of working kitchen, in any environment, that would not benefit from having a grease trap installed. In most commercial kitchens, and especially in London, water discharges from a 50mm waste pipe system into a 110mm pipe and a grease trap is usually fitted either at the source, in the washing-up area, before entering the main sewer line. Either that or it’s fitted underground before the sewer line connects with effluent waste flowing from the toilets.

As mentioned above, but on a more industrial scale, the purpose of a grease trap is to separate and trap oil and grease, together with any foreign articles such as cloths, cutlery, etc before they enter the sewage system, in order to prevent blocked drains. For a commercial property in London blocked drains can be really serious, as they can contravene health and safety legislation, which can be fatal for culinary businesses. Even if yours isn’t, a blocked drain can still seriously affect employee health, can attract vermin and, if left unchecked, can also cause structural issues.

In this day and age most commercial kitchens have a grease trap already fitted but if yours doesn’t, you should really consider getting one installed today.

 

Do you have blocked drains?

The message here is always check, if you have blocked drains in London then you need to find the root of the problem and tackle it using professional help before it grows beyond your control. Please get in touch either via the Contact Us section on our website or call us on  020 3556 4453 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!