Categories Environmental, News

The Essential Guide to Drainage Investigation Surveys

Wastewater removal is one of the most vital resources that we depend on daily. However, when not managed properly, it can cause significant problems for commercial and domestic properties. The key is early detection with the need of a drain inspection camera.

This essential guide will take you through the importance, methods, and tools involved in a successful drainage investigation survey


Blocked Drains are one of the most common issues homeowners, business, and commercial properties face. These issues can range from pipes and sewers becoming blocked or damaged to poorly installed drainage systems. However, many of these problems are not easily visible to the naked eye, making them difficult to detect and resolve. This is where drain camera survey come in handy. They are a crucial tool in identifying and assessing the extent of drainage problems, allowing for a more accurate and timely solution.

What is a CCTV Drain Investigation Survey?

A CCTV drain inspection survey is a comprehensive examination of a property’s drainage pipework system. The purpose of these surveys is to identify any potential issues, such as blockages, leaks, or structural damage, that may be affecting the drainage system. This information helps property owners and professionals to better understand the current state of the drainage system, which in turn allows them to develop appropriate solutions to resolve any identified problems.

Why are Drainage Investigation Surveys Important?

1. Prevent costly repairs: Identifying drainage problems early on can help prevent costly repairs in the future. Small issues can quickly escalate if left unattended, leading to more extensive damage that requires expensive fixes.

2. Maintain property value: A properly functioning drainage system is essential in maintaining the value of your property. Drainage problems can lead to unsightly damage and negatively affect the overall appeal of your home, which can impact its saleability and value.

3. Protect the health and safety of your home: Unaddressed drainage issues can cause dampness, mold growth, and other health hazards, posing a risk to the health and safety of your family.

Identifying Potential Problem Signs

Water stains or damage

Visible water stains or damage on walls, ceilings, or floors may be an indication of an underlying drainage issue. This could include damp patches, peeling paint, or mold growth.

Unpleasant Odors

Foul smells coming from drains can be a sign of a blockage or damage within the pipes, which may require a drainage investigation to identify the cause and location of the problem.

Slow draining water

If water takes a long time to drain from sinks, showers, or bathtubs, it may be a sign of a blockage or issue with the drainage system that requires further investigation.

Different Types of CCTV Drain Surveys

There are several types of drainage investigation surveys, each designed to address specific aspects of drainage problems. Some of the most common types include:

1. CCTV Drain Surveys: By inserting a camera into the drainage system, a CCTV drain survey captures real-time footage of the pipes and drains, allowing for the identification of blockages, damage, or other issues. This is one of the most effective ways to get a clear understanding of the state of your drainage system.

2. Drain Tracing: This method involves using specialized equipment to pinpoint the exact location of drains, pipes, and any blockages or damage within them. Drain tracing is particularly useful in situations where the layout of the drainage system is unclear, or when trying to locate a specific issue.

3. Manhole Inspection: A thorough inspection of manholes can help identify issues such as damaged or misaligned pipes, blockages, or structural damage. This type of survey is usually carried out in conjunction with other methods, such as CCTV surveys or drain tracing.

Tools Used for Drainage Investigation Surveys

  1. CCTV cameras: A high-resolution, waterproof camera is inserted into the drains to capture footage of the internal condition of the pipes. This footage can then be analyzed to pinpoint any problems.
  2. Drain tracing equipment: Specialized tools, such as sonde transmitters and receivers, are used to accurately locate and map the layout of the drainage system.
  3. Manhole inspection tools: Tools such as manhole keys, measuring equipment, and inspection mirrors are used to thoroughly inspect manholes and identify any issues they may contain.

CCTV camerasCapture footage of internal pipe conditionsAccurate, non-invasive, real-time data
Drain tracingLocate and map drainsPrecise location of issues, clear mapping
Manhole inspectionInspect manholes and pipesIdentifies specific issues, complements other methods

Analysing the Results of a Drainage Investigation Survey

Once the survey has been completed, the results need to be analysed by a drain survey expertsto gain a clear understanding of the current state of the drainage system and identify any issues. This includes reviewing the CCTV footage, drain tracing data, and manhole inspection results, as well as considering any other relevant factors, such as the age and materials of the pipes.

By combining all of this information, a comprehensive report can be created, outlining any detected problems, their severity, and the recommended course of action to resolve them. This report is an invaluable resource for property owners, as it helps them make informed decisions about their drainage system’s maintenance and repairs.

Developing Solutions for Drainage Problems

Based on the analysis of the drainage investigation survey results, appropriate solutions can be developed to address any identified issues. These solutions may include:

1. Pipe repairs or replacements: Damaged pipes can often be repaired using techniques such as patch lining, or if necessary, replaced with new pipes to restore proper function to the drainage system.

2. Clearing blockages: High-pressure water jetting is a common method used to clear blockages from pipes, allowing water to flow freely once again.

3. Drainage system modifications or upgrades: In some cases, it may be necessary to modify or upgrade the drainage system to resolve issues such as poor design, inadequate capacity, or outdated materials.

Implementing these solutions can help to restore the functionality of your drainage system, protect your property from further damage, and maintain its overall value.

Advantages of Professional Drainage Investigation Surveys

1. Expertise: Professional drainage surveyors have the knowledge and experience to accurately assess the state of your drainage system and identify any potential issues.

2. Advanced equipment: Professionals use specialized tools and equipment that allow for a more comprehensive and accurate analysis of your drainage system, ensuring that all issues are detected and addressed.

3. Detailed reporting: Professional surveyors provide thorough, easy-to-understand reports outlining the findings of the survey, as well as recommendations for any necessary repairs or maintenance.


Drainage investigation surveys are an essential tool for uncovering hidden problems within your property’s drainage system. By detecting issues early on, you can prevent costly repairs and maintain the value and safety of your home. Investing in a professional drainage investigation survey is a smart decision that will benefit your property in the long run.

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