Poor blockage clearance practices are a major cause of repeat sewer blockage incidents and are occasionally the direct cause of sewer flooding of customers premises. Good working practices are therefore essential to improve the performance of the sewer system and to provide good customer service outcomes.
WRc undertook a collaborative project for six water companies to identify best practice in effective sewer blockage clearance to minimise the number of repeat incidents and to improve the customer experience. The procedures included risk assessment, selection of appropriate equipment and techniques for a variety of situations. For example different methods are applicable when access is only available upstream for the blockage rather than when downstream access is available. The outputs included a series of training videos for use in toolbox talks with operatives in order to effectively disseminate best practice. The feedback for clients has been that the videos have been well received and are influencing working practices.