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Don’t dump debris down your drains – BusinessWise

BusinessWise member Darren Gillam, of Swindon-based Drain Developments, unblocks and surveys drains and supports good drainage on new build sites for both commercial and domestic premises. His message to Business Biscuit readers is: ‘don’t dump debris down your drains’.

Did you know that October – the start of Q4 in business and the time when minds are turning to winter, Halloween and darker evenings – it’s also Unblocktober.

It may sound odd, yet this awareness month is a ‘moment’ for us all to consider how important our sewers are from our homes and businesses – and how we need to pay attention to them in order to save both our sewers and our seas.

We have developed over many years a ‘throwaway’ attitude to what goes down our drains, and we can think that it’s ‘out of sight out of mind’ and for that reason we now have very real environmental issues which we need to address. We do need to consider more carefully what literally goes down the drain!

Here are just a few things which should not go down the drain – but we often find them:

  • Margarine & Butter
  • Food & Cooking Oil
  • Period Products
  • Nappies & Cotton Buds
  • Condoms & Contact Lenses
  • Bandages & Plasters
  • Dental Floss & Razor Blades
  • Face Masks & Disposal Gloves

At Drain Developments we are helping domestic and commercial customers think about their drains more mindfully and we can highlight a few simple steps to keep our sewers flowing and improve negative environmental impacts – some of which can lead to legal action when it comes to business.

  • Consider what you are flushing down the toilet – this is one simple change that any business can make today. Think about the three “Ps” – pee, poo & paper – and that’s it. Nothing else.
  • Ban wet wipes going down the loo – these are a common issue along with FOG (fats, oils and grease) as when they mix they can create a perfect storm for blockages. Today these blockages are sometimes known as ‘fatbergs’.
  • Anything else needs to bagged and disposed of in rubbish collections at home or pay attention to the rules around sorting out and safe disposal of commercial waste. Failure to do this can lead to problems including foul waste flooding, pollution and excavation & repair. This can be costly and can lead to legal action being taken and fines imposed.
  • When a drainage issue occurs get help in a timely manner – problems, and they may be really smelly, can back up over weeks and months. Don’t bury your head in the ‘poo’ – pick up the phone before a small problem becomes a big and costly one.
  • Regular maintenance is never going to cause issues and will help keep a drainage system healthy and efficient. We use drain cameras and, if required the drains can be flushed clean using high pressure water jetting.
  • For larger premises and sites, we recommend a biannual CCTV drainage survey to monitor a drain system to ensure no big problems cause business down time to avoid potential floods or pollution of the environment.

Darren is a member of the not-for-profit business referral group BusinessWise, which meets fortnightly at Basset Down Golf Club, near Swindon.

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