Why It’s Important To Maintain School Drainage
We all use drains every single day. But whether it’s toilets, sinks, showers or rain runoff drains, we don’t give much thought to them until something goes wrong. Even then, it’s usually in our homes where time can be taken to rectify any issues. For schools, there isn’t that luxury when it comes to drainage.
Serving massive amounts of people every single day of the week, there is an abnormal amount of pressure on a school, college or university site when you think about it. Something as simple as a blocked drain can cause a real headache.
That’s why this month, at Power Rod, we wanted to explain the importance of school drain maintenance for anyone running such an institution, highlighting common issues and what you can do to prevent the disruption that flooding and unsanitary conditions can cause.
Why drainage is so important in schools
There are two main reasons why proper and fully functional drainage is important for schools. The first is in relation to the health of pupils and staff – absolutely paramount, we’re sure you’ll agree – along with the ability to access clean water for hygiene purposes. There is an obligation on every school to provide a safe space for everyone on site, and the role of proper drainage should not be overlooked in this.
The second reason it’s so important to have well-maintained drains for schools and any educational premises is so that daily operations can continue unimpeded. Education is vitally important and the last thing any teacher or headteacher needs is for certain parts of the site to be out of action, requiring them to shut down the school for periods of time.
Common school drainage problems
While schools and buildings used for educational purposes will undoubtedly experience many of the same issues as any other commercial premises, there may be some unique challenges to deal with. Here are just some of the common school drainage problems that could arise:
- Outdated drainage system – Schools operate on a tight and restricted budget, and while there are plenty of modern schools around, many of the schools in the UK were built in the mid-20th century, with others dating back even further. This means some buildings have drainage systems that no longer meet modern requirements, creating issues, or are so old that they constantly experience problems.
- Inappropriate items flushed – Whether they do it innocently without realising or it’s just a handful of kids acting out, children and young people are prone to flushing the wrong things down toilets and generally misusing washroom facilities. This can quickly cause flooding and put certain bathroom spaces out of action, not to mention the damage it can do further in the system.
- Long periods of closure – We’ve mentioned the heavy stress put on a drainage system during term time, but what about outside of that? With long breaks dotted throughout the year and an extended one over the summer, it means some issues could develop without anyone noticing straight away. Things like blockages and damage to drains during school holidays could mean delaying the return of students. On the plus side, half-term and summer holidays can be a great time to carry out essential maintenance and repairs for school drains.
- Debris and foliage – While not all schools have the luxury of spacious grounds and greenery surrounding them, there are plenty that do. This brings with it the risk that drains on the site can become blocked and clogged if they’re not regularly inspected and cleared. Combined with the previous point about elongated closures at various points, it could catch you by surprise if there’s a sudden downpour. Subsequent flooding can then force you to restrict access to certain areas, or worse, close altogether to rectify the issue.
How to maintain school drains and prevent problems
Now you know just how important functional drains both inside and outside the school are, and the common ways in which things can go wrong, you should feel better prepared to keep an eye on things. But being reactive isn’t enough, a proactive programme of regular maintenance for school drains should be implemented, especially if you operate a large site or any dated buildings.
When you are faced with a drainage emergency in your school building, always call in the experts to put things right and get your schedule back on track. At Power Rod, we provide a range of drainage services, from specialist commercial drain maintenance to emergency drainage callouts, operating across the Home Counties – including Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, as well as Watford and Aylesbury – for fast and effective results. We can even help with CCTV drain surveys and mapping if you’re planning any construction work.
Call your local drain specialist for schools today and let us help you to keep your site running smoothly.