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Q and A with drainage experts Metro Rod!

Drainage maintenance and repair sounds pretty simple… Most people might presume it’s simply a case of sticking some rods down a drain to free up the blockage, and maybe having to replace the odd pipe from time to time. For Metro Rod though, who specialise in all aspects of commercial drainage and repair, there’s a whole lot more to it!

We’ve interviewed Metro Rod’s Senior Technical Manager, Chris Nelson, who knows everything there is to know about drainage…

Can you explain a little more about the work that the Metro Rod network undertake?
The majority of our work is drainage unblocking, maintenance and repair, but because most of our customers are commercial clients, the equipment involved can vary considerably, depending on where we are working and the services we are providing.

What services in particular are you able to provide?
We offer an extensive range of sewer survey, maintenance and repair techniques. This includes CCTV surveys – which enable us to see directly inside the pipes to assess any damage, and is hugely valued by customers, as the footage can be seen in virtual real-time and recorded if requested.

Much of the maintenance work we do involves drain clearance by either Rodding, Electro-Mechanical Cleaning (EMC) or High-Pressure Water Jetting (HPWJ). Tanker jetting is also undertaken when necessary, as well as the removal of concrete and solid debris from drains using specialist equipment.

What’s the difference between EMC and HPWJ?
The main difference is that EMC is a mechanical process, whereas HPWJ is hydraulic. With EMC a cable is rotated with a cutter on the front and gradually fed down the pipe or drain into the blockage.

With HPWJ, the force of the water is used to dislodge any blockage. Both are very effective techniques and all Metro Rod engineers are fully-equipped with the necessary technology to ensure rapid response rates and very high ‘first-time fix’ rates.

If the drains are found to have any lasting damage once any blockage is removed, we can then repair using either excavation, or, perhaps more preferably, ‘no-dig’ techniques.

Can you explain the techniques involved in excavation and ‘trenchless/ no-dig’?
Excavation is a more traditional form of repair, which is often somewhat disruptive and requires the ground above the damaged drain to be physically removed to access and replace the damaged section.

Trenchless technology is a generic term used for all no-dig repairs and generally covers lining, directional drilling and tunnel boring.

Metro Rod are mainly involved in lining and patch repair. Specialist lining technology is suitable for longer lengths of damaged drain, whilst ‘patching’, as the name suggests, is a localised repair using silicate resin and a fibreglass mat for smaller areas of damage. Repairs can be carried out without excavation, which saves time, hassle and ultimately money! In fact, one of our specialists has just completed what’s thought to have been the world’s longest liner installation ever!

Why should people choose Metro Rod over other competitors?
For Metro Rod, top quality customer service is always the priority. We are nationwide, with over 40 depots, meaning we are able to service commercial contracts wherever a client has outlets. We already have numerous key accounts with large companies such as AXA, BUPA and Mitie, who really value the fact that we are able to provide a consistent, efficient service nationally. We also operate 24/7, 365 days of the year, so no matter when the issue arises, we can be on site within hours – ensuring as little disruption as possible for our customers.

We have 30+ years’ experience in drainage repair and maintenance, and whether it’s reactive works or pre-planned maintenance, we work with our customers to make sure they receive the best service possible.

All of our engineers are DBS checked and highly trained in all of the following as standard; High Pressure Water Jetting, Asbestos Awareness, Avoidance of Danger from Underground Services, National Road and Street Works Association training, Confined Spaces Entry, Construction Skills Certification Scheme, Basic food hygiene, Manual Handling, and of course – drain maintenance and repair. Other bespoke courses are written and delivered by our City & Guilds level 3 Technical & Training team including Working at Height, Saniflos, Basic & Intermediate Plumbing skills, LV Electrical Safety.

For more information visit www.metrorod.co.uk, email call.centre@metrorod.co.uk or call 0800 66 88 00.


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