For many of us, the changing of the seasons from summer to autumn is visually striking, most evident in the colours of the leaves on the trees. Leaves of red, gold and brown are certainly beautiful to behold as they fall from trees, yet for many unfortunate homeowners and business owners these leaves have a tendency to clog up drains and pipes.

Villages, towns and cities across Northern Ireland are packed with impermeable surfaces which cause rainfall to pool or quickly run off. In turn drainage systems are designed to transport this water quickly into sewers and surface water channels to prevent flooding. With the arrival of Autumn dead leaves fall on footpaths and roads; moderate or sustained rainfall will wash them into or on top of storm drains, gutters and gullies. At this point, the leaves will block or reduce the conveyance of water into the drains increasing the risk of localised flooding. This is known as pluvial or surface water flooding. This type of flooding is compounded with the effects of global warming and increased periods of heavy or sustained rainfall in autumn and winter. In recent years, we have witnessed the devastating effects of flooding on homeowners across the UK and Ireland. With the drains packed with debris including dead leaves, drains can back up resulting in blockages. This is a most unpleasant experience for home owners and small business owners. This problem is heightened even further in Winter when surface water packed with leaves and other debris will freeze causing pipe damage and substantial blockages.

In the words of Operations Manager, Allister Heaney “The McAllister Group possesses over 45 years’ experience of clearing blockages. Whilst local authorities do sterling work across the region addressing problems with gullies, drains and septic tanks, our advice to homeowners and small business owners is to regularly have their drains inspected to identify potential blockages. Many of us wouldn’t think of keeping their drains clean/clear until the drains start bubbling up spilling waste over gardens or when toilets won’t flush due to a blockage. We operate a call centre and a 24/7 emergency response contact number which will allow us to swiftly attend to any drain related problem. In recent years, our teams have been on site on Christmas Day responding to blocked toilets in an entertainment venue and on New Year’s Eve with one customers suffering from an overflowing septic tank in the midst of her party. Our environmental teams will ensure that the blockage is removed.  In the case of septic tanks, our teams will clean the tank thoroughly checking inlets and outlets and ensuring that the system is running properly”.

“Our advice is simple: have your drains, pipes, grates and tanks checked out today! Avoid any nightmares this Halloween or Christmas!”