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When heavy rains hit, stormwater drains are crucial in diverting water away from our properties, helping to prevent flooding and the associated damage that comes with it. However, a clogged stormwater drain can quickly become a significant problem.

Water that should be channelled away instead pools on the surface, potentially leading to water intrusion into basements, damaging foundations, and creating ideal conditions for mould and other moisture-related issues.

This guide is designed to help you tackle the common yet challenging issue of a blocked stormwater drain. Whether it’s leaves, debris, or a more complex obstruction, we’ll provide you with practical steps to diagnose and clear the blockage effectively. Acting swiftly can not only mitigate immediate water damage but also prevent long-term property issues, ensuring that your stormwater system continues to function properly, protecting your home against the elements.

Identifying a Blocked Stormwater Drain

To effectively tackle a blocked stormwater drain, you first need to identify the symptoms indicating a blockage. Here are some telltale signs and common causes:

Common causes for these symptoms often include:

Fallen leaves, twigs, and various garden debris are often the culprits behind clogged stormwater drain entries and internal piping. As seasons change, the accumulation of this organic matter can create significant blockages.

In addition, sediment and dirt routinely find their way into the drainage system, gradually settling within the pipes and constricting water flow. The situation can be exacerbated by tree roots that grow into and crack the pipes in their search for moisture, leading to serious blockages and infrastructure damage.

Also, there are instances where foreign objects, such as household garbage or children’s toys, may inadvertently enter the drain system, becoming lodged and causing further obstruction.

Recognising these signs early can prevent the blockage from worsening, making the clearing process simpler and less time-consuming. Regular observation and maintenance around your stormwater drains are essential in preventing these issues from taking root.

Water Flowing Stormwater Drain

Safety Precautions For Stormwater Drain Cleaning

Before attempting to clear a blocked stormwater drain, prioritise safety by donning waterproof gloves and safety goggles to protect against bacteria and flying debris. Sturdy, non-slip footwear is also critical to prevent slips on wet surfaces.

Maintain good hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly after finishing the job, and try to keep your hands away from your face throughout the process to avoid transferring any pollutants. It’s also important to check the weather; if it’s raining heavily or there’s a storm, postpone the task to avoid additional hazards.

When it comes to the actual clearing, use the appropriate tools and know your limits. If the blockage is severe or if you’re unsure about how to proceed safely, it’s better to contact a professional. Never attempt to enter a stormwater drain or work in confined spaces, and keep electrical equipment away from water.

If you’re working near traffic, make sure you’re visible to passing vehicles to prevent accidents. Adhering to these safety measures will help you manage the task at hand effectively while keeping you safe.

Before You Begin

Start by assembling the necessary tools for the job. A plumber’s snake or drain rods will be your primary tools for dislodging blockages. Additionally, have a garden hose on hand for flushing the drain and a bucket for any debris you might extract.

You may also need a screwdriver or wrench if you have to remove a drain grate. If the blockage is visible and within reach, attempt to clear it manually, but proceed with caution to avoid injury from sharp objects or other hazards.

Water Flowing Stormwater Drain

Clearing the Blockage

Now, let’s get down to business:

Step 1: Manual Removal

If the debris is visible and within reach, use your hands or a tool to remove it carefully. Make sure you remove as much as possible to prevent future blockages.

Step 2: Using Tools

A plumber’s snake or drain rods can be very effective for deeper blockages. Feed the tool into the drain until you feel resistance, then push and twist to break through the blockage.

Step 3: Flushing the Drain

Once you’ve dislodged the blockage, use a garden hose to flush out the remaining debris. The water should flow freely if the blockage is cleared. If not, repeat the process until it does.

Step 4: Final Checks

Run water through the drain to ensure it’s completely clear. Keep an eye out for any water backing up, which could indicate a partial blockage still in place.

Prevention Tips

Preventing future blockages in your stormwater drains can save you time and trouble. Incorporating drain guards can be an effective first step; they act as a filter, catching leaves and debris before they enter the system. Also, make a habit of periodically inspecting and cleaning out your drains to ensure they remain clear.

Stormwater Drain

Be conscious of what ends up in your garden. Refrain from disposing of any waste that could contribute to clogs. This includes being cautious about washing away substances like oils and paints, which can solidify and block drains.

Instead, dispose of these materials responsibly, using appropriate waste collection services. These simple steps allow you to maintain a functional stormwater drainage system and reduce the likelihood of future blockages.

When Should You Call a Professional

There are instances where a stormwater drain blockage may be beyond the scope of DIY efforts. If you encounter a particularly stubborn blockage or if you’re not confident in safely managing the task, you should enlist the services of a professional plumber or drainage specialist.

These experts come equipped with specialised tools and diagnostic equipment, such as high-resolution drain cameras, which can pinpoint the problem without guesswork. Their experience and technology allow them to resolve the issue swiftly and effectively, ensuring your drainage system operates smoothly without causing further inconvenience or damage.

Keeping Stormwater Drains Clear with Confidence

Clearing a blocked stormwater drain can be a manageable DIY task with the right tools and a careful approach. This guide is designed to help you prevent minor issues from escalating into bigger problems. Consistent maintenance is crucial, but when a blockage becomes too challenging, it’s important to know when to call in the experts.

If you’re facing persistent drainage woes or simply prefer a professional touch, WP Plumbing in Melbourne is here to assist you. Don’t let a blocked drain disrupt your routine— contact us for efficient and reliable stormwater drainage solutions. Share this guide with friends or neighbours who might find it useful, and remember, for any plumbing needs, WP Plumbing is just a call or click away.

Need help with a stubborn stormwater drain blockage? Contact WP Plumbing in Melbourne for expert assistance today!

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