Decoding the Language of Drains: A Drainage Glossary for the Everyday User

Table of Contents

Navigating the world of drains can be a daunting task, filled with technical terms and complex jargon. At MZR Drains, we believe in making this essential aspect of your home or business more accessible. This user-friendly drainage glossary breaks down common drain terms into everyday language, helping you understand the ins and outs of your drainage system—literally.

drainage glossary

1. Aerobic Bacteria Microorganisms that thrive in oxygen-rich environments, crucial for breaking down waste, especially in treatment plants.

2. Anaerobic Bacteria Bacteria that do not require oxygen, often found in septic tanks, helping decompose organic matter in low-oxygen environments.

3. CCTV Survey A camera-based inspection of drainage pipes to identify blockages, cracks, or root ingress without excavation.

4. Cesspit/Cesspool A sealed underground tank collecting wastewater and sewage, requiring regular emptying as it has no outlet for treated water.

5. Channel Drain Also known as an Aco channel, this surface water drain features a long, narrow, grate-covered trench.

6. De-watering The process of removing water from a site or excavation area to allow construction or maintenance work to proceed.

7. Drain Jetting A cleaning method using high-pressure water jets to remove stubborn blockages and debris, ensuring smooth water flow.

Drain Jetting

8. Drainage Field A network of perforated pipes underground that disperses treated wastewater into the soil for further natural treatment.

9. Effluent Wastewater flowing out of a septic tank or treatment plant, which is usually safe to discharge after proper treatment.

10. Foul Water Wastewater containing sewage from toilets, dishwashers, and kitchens that must be directed to a treatment facility.

11. Grey Water Relatively clean wastewater from baths, sinks, and appliances, which can be recycled for uses like garden irrigation.

12. Gully A drainage point collecting surface water from areas like driveways and patios, directing it into the drainage system.

Gully Drain

13. High-Pressure Water Jetting Using high-pressure water jets to clear blockages and clean drains, effective for removing debris build-up.

14. Inspection Chamber Also known as a manhole, it is an access point for inspecting, cleaning, and maintaining drains.

15. Interceptor A trap installed in the drainage system to prevent pollutants like oil, grease, and debris from entering the main sewer.

16. Lateral Drain The section of pipe running from your property’s boundary to the public sewer, typically maintained by property owners.

17. Non-Return Valve A valve that allows water to flow in one direction only, preventing backflow which can cause flooding or contamination.

18. Rods/Rodding Using flexible rods to clear blockages in drains, which can be screwed together to reach deep obstructions.

19. Root Ingress Occurs when tree or plant roots penetrate and grow into drainage pipes, causing damage and blockages.

Tree Root Ingress

20. Septic Tank An underground chamber collecting and treating sewage through biological decomposition and drainage, requiring regular maintenance.

21. Sewer A large underground pipe carrying wastewater and sewage from multiple properties to treatment facilities, maintained by public authorities.

22. Silt Trap A device installed in drainage systems to catch silt and debris before it enters the main drain, preventing blockages.

23. Soakaway An underground pit filled with materials like rubble, allowing water to percolate into the ground, managing surface water.

24. Surface Water Rainwater and runoff from surfaces like roofs and driveways, directed into drainage systems to prevent accumulation and damage.

25. U-Bend/Trap A curved pipe section under sinks, baths, and toilets, retaining water to prevent sewer gases from entering your home.

26. Wet Well A chamber in a drainage system where wastewater collects before being pumped out, part of larger drainage infrastructures.

Found our drainage glossary useful? You may find our other content interesting!

Find out more with The Ultimate Guide to Commercial and Domestic Drainage Services.

Understanding these drain terms will help you communicate more effectively with professionals and take better care of your drainage system. Whether you’re facing a blockage or planning routine maintenance, knowing the language of drains can make all the difference. At MZR Drains, we’re here to help you decode the complexities and keep your drains running smoothly.

Drains may seem complex, but with MZR Drains you’ll quickly become fluent. Reach out to us today and let’s take the mystery out of drain maintenance together.

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