Imagine you have a problem with the plumbing or drainage on your business premises. Maybe you’ve got a leak or a blockage. Would you know what to do and how to report it?

The very first thing you should do is try to locate the source of the problem and determine whose responsibility it is to deal with it.

Pipes, gutters and drains in and around your building

– This includes any drains leading up to the property boundary. If you have a blockage, flooding or structural defect affecting any of these, it’s up to you or your organisation to put it right.

– You’ll need to deal with these privately, which means getting in touch with a reputable drainage contractor like Dyno, and your business or insurer will need to cover the costs.

Public sewers carrying sewage and stormwater from your property’s boundary to the local wastewater treatment works

– This includes any shared drains where several properties’ drains meet before joining the public sewer. Any problems with these fall under the responsibility of the local water and sewerage companySee private sewers transfer regulations

– Get in touch with them as soon as possible to report the issue to allow them to fix it at no extra cost to your business.

Road drainage and roadside gullies used to drain surface water from the highway

– Any problems with these, as well as council-managed properties, are the responsibility of the local council.

– Contact the local council directly to carry out the required repairs.

If you’re not clear where the problem is, so you can’t decide whose responsibility it is, you could contact the water and sewerage company, or your local council’s environmental health department, who may be able to help you work it out and decide on the next steps.

Practical tips to avoid problems with your business drainage systems

There are many simple steps you can take to help reduce the cost and inconvenience of blocked drains. It’s important you encourage staff and customers to play their part too.

In the toilets

Flushing anything except ordinary toilet paper can cause blockages, leading to bad smells and sewers flooding on your street.

Top tip: Provide small bags and a clean, convenient bin in your toilets to make it easy for your staff and customers to dispose of sanitary products and wipes, which shouldn’t be flushed. Consider providing baby changing facilities, too.

Top tip: Put up posters to remind staff and customers not to flush anything except toilet paper.

In the kitchen

Your staff need to know not to let food waste, fat, oil and grease go down the kitchen sink as this can lead to blockages and smells. You should explain to them that if this happens it can lead to expensive costs for the business to unblock drains and clean up the area. Bad practices can even result in a public health nuisance, prosecution and unwanted negative publicity.

Top tip: Wipe and scrape plates, pans and utensils before washing them, putting any waste in the bin. Collect waste oil in a suitable secure container and arrange for it to be collected by a licensed waste contractor.

Top tip: Use a drain guard on your plug holes to reduce the amount of waste that gets washed down the sink.

Maintenance and prevention is often better than waiting until you need a repair. British Gas business now offers our SME customers Plumbing and Drainage Care from just £4 per month.

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