The Big Misconnections Challenge

Posted by DeniseB May 30, 2014 Categories: Latest News

WRc is working with a group of UK water companies to investigate and evaluate methods for detecting the presence of foul water effluents in surface water drains. 

Misconnection often occurs at customers’ premises where domestic appliances have mistakenly been plumbed into surface water drains rather than the sewer. These are a big issue for water companies as they can result in pollution events. Tracking these down currently involves an expensive process of repeat site visits to retrieve, read and relocate samplers and instruments within the surface water drain network. The UK water companies spend an estimated £190m per annum attempting to identify these misconnections. 

There is a need for a method that can identify the presence of foul wastewater with a single opening of a manhole as repeat visits and laboratory analysis are costly. A further challenge is that the foul flow is intermittent and therefore may not be present when visiting site, so methods will need to detect evidence from previous flows. 

Leo Carswell, Principal Consultant at WRc comments “An effective single entry method for detecting foul water contamination in surface water flows could reduce the cost of identifying misconnections by as much as 30%. WRc are building a list of possible techniques and are keen to speak to suppliers who may have approaches and technologies which can offer a solution.” 

This is a challenge which requires a novel approach so WRc is open to all ideas. If you think your technology may offer solution please make contact with the WRc Project Manager: Gosia Dolata at or by calling 01793 865188.

SIMON AYLEY Key Account DirectorTel: +44 (0) 1793 865085