Roots and drainage systems do not mix well. The roots tiny feelers can worm their way through little cracks in manhole walls as they explore, searching for sources of water and nutrients. Although we humans would not wish to dine on the matter often found in manholes, the same cannot be said for plant life… they love it. So, when the root’s feelers detect such a banquet, they send an open invite out to all their friends and most of them move in for good.
This phenomenon, in time, can lead to really stubborn blockages in a drainage system and, if it is not caught early enough, can cause some very real and expensive damage. Usually, the first sign of a problem is seen by the drainage system backing up which can lead to nasty smells and untreated waste exiting the top of the manhole, pooling on the surface.
Just a few days ago ATAC Solutions received an emergency call out for exactly this issue at a local tourist attraction. Stephen Peacock, a very experienced engineer, immediately attended the site in a tanker with the aim of addressing the issue and identifying its cause.
Stephen used the tanker to suck out all of the backed up waste from the manhole and saw that a root network had taken hold and sediment had built up around it, creating a stubborn fatty blockage.
In order to regain free flowing drainage, Stephen cleared the run by using a warthog spinning jet which cut though the fatty sediment that was causing the immediate blockage.
Later, ATAC Solutions sent their fully qualified Confined Space entry team to finish the job. They used high pressure water jetting to cut the roots and subsequently extracted them all (image above: Before and After).
The Confined Space team jetted the pipework between the manhole and the treatment plant followed by a CCTV inspection to confirm the clearance was successful.
It is possible to avoid this kind of issue though regular inspection. Catching it early will mean it is a much smaller job to rectify and you will be far less likely to experience your manholes overflowing with untreated waste. Why not save yourself a lot of hassle and get in touch with ATAC Solutions to arrange for an inspection.
The team at ATAC solutions are always happy to provide friendly advice and welcome calls to 01622 882 400 or on the 24 hour emergency hotline on 03333 111 030.