It’s important that inspection chambers and manholes are kept clear of blockages to ensure clear access to underground drainage systems at all times. But who is responsible for cleaning them and how should they be cleaned?
Who is responsible for the maintenance of inspection chambers?
If an inspection chamber services more than two properties and connects to the UK public sewer, it is known as an adoptable system. In this scenario, it is considered the responsibility of the relevant water and sewerage company. In contrast, if your inspection chamber services just your property, it is then your responsibility to maintain it.
Why is it important that inspection chambers are well maintained?
If a manhole or inspection chamber becomes inoperable or no longer accessible, it then becomes impossible to inspect or clean out a sewer or drain. It is also important that the chamber or manhole cover is not damaged as this could result in excess water seeping into the drainage system. This could create a dangerous scenario as the chamber could then easily collapse under an individual’s body weight.
How can you tell if there is a blockage?
One of the first signs that you may have a blocked drain is if your toilet or bath fails to drain quickly and efficiently, or you spot an overflowing inspection chamber or gully. A gully can be easily cleared by simply cleaning it but an inspection chamber will require the use of more specialist tools.
How to clean an inspection chamber safely?
If the manhole and inspection chamber is adopted by your local water and sewerage company, it is their responsibility to clear out any blockage. Remember, entering a manhole can be dangerous as they can contain toxic gases and are low on oxygen.
Inspection chambers should therefore only be cleaned by specialists who are trained to undertake this type of work and have the right equipment for the job. The preferred method of cleaning out inspection chambers is with mechanical cleaning machines that use high-pressure water and suction.
If you are responsible for your manhole or inspection chamber, we recommend you get in touch with local cleaning specialists. You can find them listed on Google. For example, try searching “local drain cleaners”.
At Cotterill Civils, we supply a wide range of inspection chambers and manholes should you need to replace them, please call us on 0121 351 3230.