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Printer Friendly VersionSelected Information - Completed Research

CP283  Understanding Blockages in Small Diameter Sewer Pipes Sewerage
Most sewer blockages occur in small diameter pipes, often near the head of sewer systems. With impending changes in ownership of private sewers / laterals, the numbers of small diameter pipes operated by Utilities will increase, with implications for effectively managing these assets.

Blockages account for over 90% of "other causes" for sewer flooding, but there was a lack of understanding of exactly how blockages form. Factors contributing to blockage formation include misuse (fat, grease, nappies etc.); poor joints (including tree root ingress); slack gradients and low flows, but the significance / risk of each is not known.

The project developed a greater understanding of the causes / mechanisms of blockage formation in small diameter pipes via a series of practical tests, and will develop guidelines to reduce future blockages. Three elements examined within Phase 1:

  1. Influence of slack gradients / poor joints.
  2. Low flows / misuse, and the influence of these factors on blockages.
  3. Use of inclinometers to ascertain gradients of un-surveyed smaller sewers.

Phase 2 (not included in the price) will further populate the Phase 1 output, with Utility-specific CCTV data from repeat blockage areas.

Benefits

  • Reduced risk of sewer blockages in small diameter pipes and associated sewer flooding
  • Cost effective operations / investment in preventing and dealing with sewer blockages, especially repeat blockages
  • Augmentation of sewer records, for those sewers where records are incomplete, through use of the inclinometer.
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