Thames Water has launched a £4M pipe surveying project, following its adoption of an estimated 40,000km of private sewers due to a change of law that came into effect on Saturday.
The project is focused on three London hotspots for drain blockages — Leyton, East Ham and Harrow — which are collectively responsible for around 4% of the blockages Thames Water deals with each year. Thames Water asset management director Bob Collington said the findings of the £4M surveying project will be used “to better inform the sewer maintenance work we do across our wider region”.
The change of law at the weekend meant that the ownership of all privately owned private sewers and lateral drains in England and Wales transferred to water companies. However, water experts told NCE that much of this infrastructure had not been comprehensively surveyed, meaning water companies could only estimate the size and state of their new assets.
Thames Water predicted that its new responsibility for private sewers will increase the number of blockages it deals with annually from 55,000 to 250,000.