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Top 5 Most Common Commercial Drainage Issues and How to Solve Them

27th September 2023

When a drain isn’t working properly it can cause many problems, including slow water, foul odours and health risks, and when the drain is used in a busy commercial property, these problems become even greater. At Cotswold Drainage, we have been resolving commercial drainage issues for over 15 years, in schools, factories, offices, industrial estates and more. In this article, we will highlight some of the most common problems we encounter and advise how to fix them.

Lack of Septic Tank Water Removal

If a septic tank is not regularly pumped clear of wastewater, and properly maintained to ensure optimal operation, it can result in both unsanitary and costly problems including:

System Overflow

Though a septic tank in a commercial drainage system will have a higher capacity than a domestic tank, it will still have a limit, and if you don’t regularly pump your septic tank, it can overflow, causing sewage back-up on the ground, basement or even into the property through the toilets and pipes.

Drain Field Damage

The drain field is an essential part of the septic system that releases the excess wastewater into the soil for crops to extract the nutrients. If the tank isn’t regularly emptied, solids (sludge) will build up and enter the outlet pipe, contaminating the soil and preventing further water from getting through.

System Failure

As with most vessels, once a septic tank is full, adding to it will just cause internal pressure, which if not addressed, will result in cracks appearing in the structure. These cracks can become worse in the winter months, as the cold can expand them, and before you know it, your septic tank has major structural damage.

To avoid these problems, it is important to have your septic tank pumped and inspected regularly, which for commercial buildings should be between one and three years, depending on the size of your tank and its usage. With over 15 years of experience, Cotswold Drainage are specialists in clearing and maintaining commercial drainage systems. Call on 01386 882324 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., to see how they can help you.

Clogged Drains and Gutters

Clogged commercial drainage systems can lead to numerous problems affecting the functionality, safety and appearance of the building. Blockages can occur through leaves, twigs, litter, stones and debris infiltrating the system, or simply from a lack of crucial regular maintenance, and can cause some of these common problems: 

Water Damage

Clogged gutters can cause rainwater to overflow and spill down the sides of the building, leading to water damage to the exterior walls and foundations, whilst also intruding into the building, causing interior damage.

Mould and Mildew

Excess moisture from clogged drains and gutters offers an ideal environment for the growth of mould and mildew, which can lead to health concerns and will require remediation.

Structural Damage

If a commercial drainage system is allowed to remain blocked, it could cause back-up in the structure of the building, resulting in internal pressure that could cause cracks and damage, leading to large repair costs.

To arrange regular commercial drain cleaning of your property, get in touch with Cotswold Drainage, who are experts in cleaning, unblocking and all commercial drain services.

Hard Water Damage

Hard water damage is a concern for commercial drainage in certain areas where the water supply contains a concentration of minerals including calcium (CA2+) and magnesium (Mg2+). It is these minerals that pose the risk, as deposits are left behind as water flows, creating a build-up in the system. Over time, these minerals can accumulate on the interior of pipes and drains, forming blockages.

This build-up of minerals can also congregate on fixtures like taps, showerheads and drain grates which will eventually result in corrosion. Hard water can also affect the ability to heat water, leading to higher costs. The best way to deal with a hard water system is to, either install a water filtration system, designed to remove the mineral deposits, or a water softener, which removes the calcium and magnesium ions through a process called Ion exchange.

Improper Grading

Grading refers to the sloping or levelling of the land’s surface to control the flow of water, directing it away from structures and towards appropriate commercial drainage systems. Improper grading can cause multiple detrimental effects on the surrounding environment and buildings, which is why it is crucial to ensure your grading is properly calibrated.

Improper grading can cause water damage to the foundations and building structure, flooding in basements, soil and landscape erosion, damage to paved areas and prevent rainwater from running off efficiently. To ensure your grading is properly installed and managed, it is important to consult with civil engineers or landscape professionals, who can assess the site and design effective resolutions.

Damaged Drainpipes

In a commercial setting, it is imperative to meet all health and hygiene regulations, as you have a responsibility of care to all employees and visitors, and in locations such as schools, a duty to protect the more vulnerable. One of the most common problems caused by cracked or broken drainpipes is water damage, as leaking or burst pipes allow water to infiltrate the building’s structure, including walls, ceilings, floors and foundations. This can result in costly repairs and dangerous surroundings. Water damage can also be a catalyst for mould growth, which can result in health hazards for occupants, and attract pests and rodents, that bring their own additional health hazards.

Looking For a Commercial Drain Company? Get In Touch with Our Commercial Drainage Specialists Today

All these common commercial drainage issues can be prevented through regular inspection and professional maintenance. At Cotswold Drainage, we have been serving the commercial sector with drainage inspection, maintenance and repair for over 15 years, and our expertise is paramount in ensuring your system operates efficiently and safely. For further information on drainage maintenance, please call 01386 882324 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you would like to book a drainpipe repair, please complete this quick contact form, and one of our helpful team will get you booked in.