The main task a drainage engineer completes on a day to day basis is making sure that water and sewerage are able to move from one place to another effectively. While these types of jobs are mostly in commercial and residential buildings, it’s also possible for drainage engineers to complete tasks involving stormwater, transport or sanitation systems.
Tools Drainage Engineers Use
A drainage engineer uses a wide range of tools to complete their jobs effectively. However, they’re not usually responsible for providing this themselves as they can be costly. The company they work for should provide all the tools they need to do their job correctly.
Traditionally, drainage engineers used long, flexible rods to clear blocked drains. However, high pressure jetting equipment is now more common and becoming the preferred technique.
Sometimes, a drainage engineer must complete a CCTV survey to inspect drains and pipework. To enable them to do this effectively, they might need to attend a NADC approved course which teaches drain design, common problems and how to assess and fix a drainage system. It will also go over techniques for how to repair a drain.
Some drainage engineers also design drainage systems for new builds, and a computer is a necessary tool for this.
Problems that Drainage Engineers Solve
A large part of a drainage engineers job involves the unblocking of drains due to things like grease, tree roots or silt—Here’s what we mean by this.
Grease. A problem in many homes or businesses is when grease from a kitchen is washed down the drain and causes a blockage. While some homeowners might attempt DIY techniques like plunging, these don’t always work. This is where the drainage engineer comes to help. They’re able to blast away all that pesky grease using high powered jetting. In more severe cases, excavation from the inspection chamber itself might be needed.
Tree Roots. A particular problem in planted areas, roots make their way into pipes through cracks or faults which cause blockages. In most cases, it’s possible to remove them using electro-mechanical root cutting or high pressure jetting. In other circumstances, the problem is more severe, demanding a full CCTV survey to be commissioned to get to the heart of the problem. The affected area will need repair, either through patch or full lining of the pipework. Or, if the damage is really bad, excavation and replacement of the damaged section might be necessary.
Silt. Surface water gullies are designed to catch silt around the perimeter of our homes, preventing it from getting in drains. Unfortunately, older drains can combine surface water with foul effluent. Usually, annual inspection and cleanup can be enough to prevent blockages. However, if left, deposits can block drains, leading to flooding or ponding. Jetting usually is the solution to this issue.
Other day to day problems a drainage engineer may have to deal with are identifying and repairing accidental damage to drains, and dealing with structural defects like displaced joints or fractures in the pipework.