Environmental Issues When Drainage Goes Wrong

Our modern society is defined by several technological innovations and one of these is drainage. Without these systems to deliver water, deal with runoff and properly irrigate the land, civilisation as we know it would quickly grind to a halt. Unfortunately, problems will still occur from time to time – and with the recent coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are flushing unsuitable toilet roll alternatives down their loos. The irony is that, with so many interconnected systems, the resultant damage can be severe. Here are a few of the environmental impacts of drainage accidents and why regular repairs are vital.

Drinking Water Pollution

One of the most common occurrences is a situation which begins by a break in a sewage line or a fault in a similar system that is carrying hazardous products. Should the ground be porous, the contaminants can seep through and enter into the aquifer. This will result in a potentially wide-scale pollution that can affect entire communities. While this can also occur from improper waste management (such as in Love Canal in New York), poorly maintained systems can have similar impacts that will take years to resolve.

Coronavirus toilet paper alternatives causing blockages

The recent virus outbreak has left many households getting creative with toilet roll substitutes, such as wet wipes, kitchen roll and even newspapers. But the truth is, these materials can cause huge drainage issues and blockages, not only to your personal property, but on a wider scale. Water firms have been warning people against using these, and are instead urging people with no alternative to place these used items in the bin instead.

Damage to Flora and Fauna

It was quite common in the past for laundromats and sundries to dispose of excess cleansers directly down the drains. In turn, these substances would find their ways into regional drainage systems. Over time, the chemicals would build up within the ground and even affect nearby coastlines. While this is largely attributed to human error, the damages can be significant. Heavy metals, such as mercury and caustic acids, can do irreparable damage to local ecosystems. Also, improperly maintained drains can break and cause similar situations. This is the reason why drainage maintenance and repairs are so very important for any business.

Large-Scale Surface Water Contamination

Many older cities contain pipes and drainage systems that have not been upgraded for half of a century or longer. The danger is that they are often unable to cope with the increased flow of water that these areas demand. Sometimes, a catastrophic failure can occur as a direct result. This can send millions of cubic litres directly into streams, rivers and lakes. The problem here is that when such a massive discharge is released, it is frequently difficult to contain. Should chemicals or waste enter into a fast-flowing body of water, the contents can be carried for hundreds of miles; affecting communities and ecosystems far beyond the initial point of release. Obviously, the consequences of such an occurrence are profound.

Domestic Mismanagement

A sizable portion of drainage issues are a result of the improper disposal of common items around the home. These can include detergents and items which are not biodegradable, such as plastics. These will again be deposited within the ecosystem or, in some scenarios, clog a pipe and cause it to break. Not only do these habits need to be curtailed, but regular repairs guarantee that all systems will remain clear and that waste water can be disposed of properly. In fact, many common drainage issues that will result in environmental pollution can easily be rectified by timely inspections and maintenance.

These are a handful of the reasons why drainage disposal, repair and maintenance need to be taken very seriously. Any damage which is done to the environment can take generations or longer to correct (not to mention causing the business or homeowner a great deal of money).


Is coronavirus affecting your business or home? Give us a call at Express Drainage Solutions – we’re committed to delivering coronavirus emergency drainage repairs, emergency coronavirus concrete cutting, and emergency drain unblocking to keep your premises ticking over, even though the toughest times.

We’re also offering FREE emergency drainage unblocking for all Londoners over 70, children’s hospices and Blue Light workers. Plus, London NHS sites, staff & healthcare workers.

To safeguard everyone, our staff are symptom-checked and sanitised before every visit, and will wear disposable paper suits, face masks and other PPE equipment – these visits will also be contact-free for your peace of mind. Call us to discover more about our services. 

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