EnvironmentalMarch 10, 2021by admin_rwbgroupThe Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Drainage Misconnections

With many industrial and commercial premises that have car parks or facilities that require drainage, it’s important that they check their drainage systems to ensure that there are no misconnections. In the event of a drainage misconnection, the wastewater from the premise will end up being transported into the surface drainage system rather than the sewer which is where it should go to. As a result of this misconnection, it can cause significant water quality problems due to pollution.

The introduction of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 means that it is illegal for drainage systems to be misconnected and it’s the legal obligation of the property owner or landlord to ensure that these systems are property installed or rectified.


How Do Misconnections Occur?

Drainage misconnections can sometimes occur, but they are accidental due to neglect, carelessness, or bad workmanship when the installations are carried out. It’s usually due to the drainage installer failing to recognise and identify the different drains, such as the surface water drains and the foul drains.

The surface water drains are for uncontaminated water from rain or snow which will end up being transported to main watercourses. The foul drains are for wastewater from facilities, sinks, and appliances.


What Are The Consequences of Misconnected Drains?

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 law states that misconnected drains are illegal and property owners or landlords have a legal responsibility to ensure that these systems are properly connected. Failure to ensure or rectify misconnected drains after being served a notice, can lead to a fine of £50,000 and possible imprisonment of up to 12 months. For more serious offences, it could lead to unlimited fines and even longer imprisonment time.

When these drainage systems are not connected properly, the wastewater from appliances, car parks, industrial facilities, and washrooms can end up going to the drains and channels that are responsible for carrying clean surface water. Ultimately, this has a significant detrimental effect on the environment, our health, and also the wildlife.

For example, in business car parks where many vehicles enter and leave, there may be spillages and oils from these vehicles. Once there is rainfall, these oils will be transported through the drains and into the main watercourses. If the drainage systems have been properly installed, there should be oil separation tanks where contaminants are separated from water before they are discharged into the watercourses. If these drainage systems are not properly connected, it could also mean that the wastewater is going into the drains and channels that are intended for receiving clean rainwater.


How Do You Identify Misconnections?

Industrial and commercial developments may not be aware of misconnections or contaminated water, especially if a business has just moved into a new premise. If you have an industrial estate or a commercial premise and you’re concerned if your drains are properly connected, get in touch with RWB Group UK.

As a leading company, we have an investigation team that works closely with clients in order to determine whether their drainage systems are misconnected. We offer comprehensive CCTV surveys and pollution investigations which can accurately identify if your drainage systems are properly connected.

Using the latest technology, our CCTV surveys are non-intrusive and causes minimal disruption to your workflow. Wherever drainage pipes are difficult to access, our surveys prevent the need for expensive investigations and disruption caused by digging.


Contact RWB Group UK for Pollution Investigations

If you own an industrial estate or a commercial premise and you’re unsure about whether your drains are misconnected, call us on 0800 488 0658 or you can send us your enquiry here.