My house is on a private road which is tarmaced. Immediately outside the house is a surface water drain. The drain appears to be silted up and im concerned a heavy storm could cause flooding around the house. As the drain is on a private road I can't ask the council to attend to it.

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From the picture is it possible to identify what sort of drain this is - is it a soak away or does it drain into a sewer?

Most importantly, can anyone suggest a good way to unblock this drain, is it just a case of scooping out as much silt as I can? If I employed a company do tackle it, does anyone know how they would approach the problem?

Many thanks in advance.

EDIT: Just to say a local company quoted me £140 +VAT to use a 'jetvac' lorry. As the name suggests they use high water pressure to clear the drain and suck the silt away.

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    To start open the grate and take out what you can and then I’d needed try running a garden hose turned on full force down it. Report back but that should solve it. I can’t tell how the grate comes up from this picture but in the top left corner I can see it detached, or that might be part of a hinge. The other 3 corners aren’t as obvious. – Tyson Jan 28 '18 at 14:39
  • Actually the arrow probably means something in terms of opening the grate. – Tyson Jan 28 '18 at 14:40

The drainage grate you can see sits over a catch basin (a box about 12" deep). There will be a pipe exiting the box about half way up. This is so the box can be half way filled before the pipe is in danger of clogging. The drain should properly lead to a natural drainage point such as a street gutter, drainage ditch or creek bed. It should not be connected to a sewer as that would place an extra load on the treatment plant. The pipe's exit (where it "daylights") is likely to be nearby.

To clear the drain first clean out the box using a trowel or a small bucket. To clear the pipe use a a "snake" tool. (commonly used for clearing drains and available at most hardware stores) As you loosen material with the snake use a garden hose with the maximum pressure and flow to bring the debris out of the pipe. A lot of water will be needed because the pipe is sloped away from the box so you will be removing material in the uphill direction. You will have to clear the box of water and debris frequently with a small bucket. Because the box is already filled with debris I suspect there is substantial debris in the pipe and it may be difficult to clear. I would certainly give it a go myself before calling a professional.

If you can locate where the pipe discharges, and the distance is not too great, you can try working from that end. Then you have the advantage of the flow of water coming back down the pipe clears the loosened debris as the slope is now in your favor. Be prepared to call a roto-rooter service if the clog is bad.

  • Thanks for information. I will give this a go. I have also asked a local company to quote on the job and will update my question with the quoted cost. – F_SO_K Jan 29 '18 at 7:58

If the private road is owned/maintained by an "association" (some sort of formal group ownership arrangement as is often the case for private roads serving more than one person/house) you should bug the association since they probably all need to be cleaned, and you may already be paying a maintenance fee that should cover such things.

If it's yours and yours alone, you should ask your builder for details of what they did, and undertake to maintain it yourself or hire someone to maintain it for you, on a regular schedule. Our town crew seems to use a giant vacuum truck to suck the crud out, but there are likely several approaches that don't involve a giant vacuum truck, such as a can on the end of a stick.

Since it's close to the house, a wet/dry shop vacuum might help.

Best bet on opening - Hook the grate and pull up - looks to me like it's hinged (so that if left open and traffic came in the marked direction it would slam shut, rather than try to act as a traffic barrier and damage itself and cars.) If so, hooking near the bottom of the picture would be easiest. Otherwise, the middle is always a good bet, if not the easiest.

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