Drainage: More Than A Call Out

Despite best management and even good PPMs (Planned Preventative Maintenance), issues will occasionally develop where you will need an emergency or unscheduled call out to resolve drainage problems.  This article will discuss what you should expect and potential solutions to prevent unnecessary call outs or reduce the number you need.

What is a call out?

Call outs can result from all sort of issues and can range from emergency to inconvenient.  They can involve blocked toilets, blocked drains or channels, broken drains, flooding, spillages, pollution incidents and damage to the drainage network or infrastructure as examples.  These issues are usually logged and a contractor (or internally operating team) is tasked with dealing with the issue appropriately.  Priority and response times obviously vary with call outs and the consequences if they are not addressed can become severe in some circumstances, particularly if pollution leave site.

What should the call out outcome be?

The overall outcome of the call out should be to resolve the immediate situation and to ensure that operational disruption is kept to a minimum.  If the issue was simple to resolve, no further action may be required.  However, ideally there should be some investigation into what caused the issue and any recommendations to prevent reoccurrences.  Those remedial actions should be considered and carried out if appropriate.  For example, a simple blocked toilet may be caused by a cracked drain further down the line.

Emergency call outs, particularly involving spillages or pollution incidents may not be resolved immediately.  Actions must be taken to prevent or reduce the pollution leaving the site.  There may be further actions required as a result of the spillage e.g. a deep clean of the area, or communication with the regulatory body if pollution has actually left the site.  Again, an investigation should be carried out to determine how it happened.  Actions to prevent a reoccurrence may include a change in procedures, containment or emergency preparations.

How can I avoid call outs?

Correct management of your drains and the associated infrastructure (like interceptors) is an essential part of your pollution risk management procedure.  You should have 6 monthly or annual servicing carried out to check condition and carry out regular maintenance.  Regular checking and maintenance should help to prevent call outs.  Any damaged drainage channels or blocked drains should be identified at these visits and actions should be taken to address them prior to problems developing.  Regular site visits will also assist in the swift resolution to call outs as previous site knowledge will help to solve the issue.

Call outs will always occur on drainage systems.  However, they can become less frequent and less serious if regular maintenance and servicing occurs on the drainage system and infrastructure.  When addressed, call outs should be resolved as soon as possible so that operations are not disrupted any more than is necessary.  Additionally, the cause of the call out should be investigated and actions identified and addressed to prevent reoccurrences in the future.