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Thames Water fears 350% more sewer work

Thames Water has said that it fears it will have to deal with almost five times as many pipe blockages after it takes responsibility for privately-owned sewers and lateral drains on 1 October.

“The total length of our sewer network will increase by about 60%, which we reckon may lead to a near fivefold increase in blockages,” said Thames Water chief flusher Rob Smith.

“It’s really important people remember that just because certain sections of drainage are going to become water companies’ responsibility … does not mean that we can mistreat our sewers by putting the wrong things down them.”

The government-ordered change of ownership will increase Thames Water’s network of sewers from 67,000km to about 107,000km, meaning the 55,000 blockages that the company deals with annually is predicted to increase to 250,000.

Readers' comments (5)

  • Barry Walton

    I presume that the extended adoption is from the property boundary. If so, presumably most individual blockages will occur on the customer's system and be a mighty inconvenience to them rather than mistreatment of the public system. That is that on the face of it predicting a bit less that fourfold (not fivefold) increase in blockages from a 60% increase in length is not reasonable. Are Mr Smith's predictions based on a rigorous assessment of the likelyhood of local blockages occuring in the part of the domestic sewerage between the property boundary and a common sewer?

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  • See the leaflet that was sent out (very clear examples) or their website for specifics but basicly for a house it is from the first junction with your neighbour's sewer pipe even if that is on your land.

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  • See the leaflet that was sent out (very clear examples) or their website for specifics but basicly for a house it is from the first junction with your neighbour's sewer pipe even if that is on your land.

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  • Barry Walton

    Peter, thanks for that. Doubtless Wessex have sent me similar information but the question of predicted number of new or, I suppose, transferred blockages remains. Where do the figures come from and what is their basis?

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  • I don't suppose that they asked Scottish Water. There are no private sewers in Scotland.

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