Our drainage surveys can be used to identify the condition of pipes prior to purchasing a house, building an extension or identifying problems such as flooding or subsidence.
There are various signs that will help to confirm whether your drain is blocked including; Bad or unusual smells - Slow draining water - Gurgling and bubbling water.
Once you have identified a blocked drain it is important to understand whose responsibility it is to clear.
In most cases residents are responsible for all pipelines and pipe infrastructure (inc. inspection chambers, buchan traps) within the boundaries of their property.
Outside of your property boundaries, responsibility for pipeline maintenance lies with either your water and sewerage utility provider (such as Scottish Water) or the construction company that built your property.
For flats and semi-detached properties, a comprehensive guide can be found here: (Link to PDF)
If it is the responsibility of Scottish Water, they will clear the blockage for free.
Call the Scottish Water Customer Helpline: 0800 0778778
If your drain is blocked you will usually know because your waste will stop going away when you flush the toilet, or gullies outside will overflow.
There will also probably be a smell around drains and inspection chambers. If none of your neighbours are affected then the likelihood is that your drain is blocked. If your neighbours are also affected it is likely that there is a problem on the sewer.
UMS operates all over Scotland.
We’re based in Elgin, Moray but every week we cover the Highlands and Aberdeenshire. We regularly head further north, west and south from Orkney, Skye to Oban. We will try our best to tie in works further afield with other works to reduce travel costs if we can.
If you experience recurring drainage issues - slow flushing toilets, regular blockages etc. - then a CCTV survey should get to the root cause, allowing your contractor to resolve the problem for good. A CCTV survey can identify issues that would otherwise remain hidden, so it’s definitely useful to have a survey done if you think something is amiss.
For older housing / infrastructure, you may here the term buchan trap.
A buchan trap is a large clay U-bend with air inlets and vents on the covers. The trap uses a water seal to prevent smells from the sewer entering a property. Although many older properties have a buchan trap, they have now been replaced by disconnecting chambers. It also denotes the end point of the domestic property boundaries before it joins the main public sewer.