Cracks, bursts and blockages in sewer networks are being caused by builders dumping excess concrete down drains, according to Thames Water.
Some builders are pouring concrete down drains by accident, Thames Water believes, but others are looking to avoid the hassle of disposing of concrete properly. In February the utility firm was forced to cut away a 10m section of a main sewer in Peckham, South London, as it was completely clogged by concrete.
Thames Water is tackling the problem by using a 12,000psi jet tanker with a 130m hose to blast away the concrete blockages, allowing sewers to return to normal flow.
“By their very nature, blockages can be devastating for whole communities. One moment a large sewer can be flowing freely, the next it can be completely blocked, or flooding, inconveniencing thousands of wastewater customers,” said Thames Water area manager Alex Saunders
“We’re always looking for new ways to fight the problem and this jet will stop any serious problems before they arise.”
The tanker also clears away fatbergs, which are congealed masses of fats and oils clumping together to block sewer pipes. Thames Water recently announced that fatbergs could soon be used to power buses.