What you need to know:
- Neighbourhoods keep springing up without proper planning, which also involves planning for drainage and sewarage or waste disposal.
Drainage system flooding is a recurring problems that gets minimal attention until the rainy season when it becomes life threatening. The main cause of drainage system flooding is poor maintenance of the drainage system. Due to neglect the system gets filled with garbage which obstructs the rainwater from flowing away quickly and easily.
Erias Nkoyoyo, a landscape designer, says this problem is compounded by the size of the drains which limits the capacity of the water flow. While the responsible authorities do not carry out the proper maintenance the public too, should take the blame since they largely contribute to clogged drains due to their indiscriminate dumping of garbage.
Nkoyoyo notes that to manage the problem, causes should be identified and monitored vigilantly. They include:
Nkoyoyo says areas that have excess groundwater are prone to flooding because the system might fail to contain the added pressure which can damage the piping system.
“Whenever you notice a lot of stagnant water around a building after a downpour, just know that your existing drainage system may be unable to cope and you need to create an exit for the excess water,” he says
When your system is congested or blocked it will not be long until it becomes a flood risk. When drains become blocked you will notice that water from the sinks, showers and bathtubs take long to drain out. This may have something to do with the neighbourhoods that keep springing up without proper planning, which also involves planning for drainage and sewarage or waste disposal. Residents dump their waste in gutters, and this clogs the gutters and prevents the flow of water, causing the gutters to overflow. It is common to see flooded streets with litter floating everywhere after a short period of rainfall.
“Congested drains can also cause bad odour. It is not uncommon for a partially blocked drain to produce an unpleasant odour but if you notice smells emanating from your drains, act before a blockage causes flooding to occur. For exampla, if a blockage is not addressed quickly, it may cause the pipe to crack, for example. This could result in a slow leak causing unseen flooding,” Nkoyoyo says.
He adds that over time, a partially blocked drain will become fully blocked. When this happens, water will not to flow through at all resulting in the flooding of your sinks, bathtubs, showers and toilets.
Hiring a professional at the first sign of trouble, can help minimise the amount of work needed to repair the affected drain.
“Blocked drains can be resolved quickly and easily. By identifying the blockage using state-of-the-art drain cameras, experienced technicians can pinpoint the problem straight away,” he says.
When a drain partially or completely collapses, the water running through it escapes and causes flooding.
“As the drain is unable to contain its contents, nearby areas become flooded and the extent of the damage will depend on what point in the drainage system the collapse occurs. If the pipework inside your property collapses it means the system will become uncontrollable,” he says
He adds that a collapsed drain may need to be replaced but repairs are also an option. Collapsed drains are often preceded by cracks in the pipework. You can minimise the amount of work needed by having your drainage system repaired before a full collapse occurs.
“ Sometimes it is not necessary to carry out repairs depending on the damage since the system normally runs from underground. However, it may be dangerous to have repairs done on cracked piping so when it is totally damaged it needs replacement,” he says
Shoddy work in connection can also cause flooding because the system fails to flow well for long. While installing the drainage system hire plumbing experts to avoid poorly installed drainage system.
“When the pipes are not connected well they are likely to burst or get blocked because they cannot maintain the pressure for long, a plumber is able to have accurate measurements of the drainage system and the pressure which it can sustain,” he says.