5 Maintenance Tips to Avoid Blocked Drains in a Storm

Cover drain on green lawn

5 Maintenance Tips to Avoid Blocked Drains in a Storm

Roots in Sewer pipe


Drain blockages during a storm are common, particularly on properties where drain maintenance is overlooked. Blocked stormwater drains during a storm most often occur due to foreign material being swept into the drain or tree roots penetrating the pipes, which then become blocked with debris during a storm. To avoid blocked drains during a storm you need to regularly maintain your stormwater system. Here are 5 maintenance tips to avoid blocked drains the next time there is a storm.

Keep your grate clean at all times


The grate that sits on the top of your storm drain acts as a sieve that prevents large debris such as tree branches, twigs and larger leaves from entering your storm drain. Checking that the grate is properly installed is the first step to ensuring that your stormwater line remains clear.


Stormwater drains can become blocked within the pipe, but may also become blocked at the grate causing inundation of the backyard, footpath or driveway. Cleaning out the debris that builds up on top of the grate every once in a while can stop disaster striking when there is a storm.

Cover drain on green lawn

Use a fine mesh or screen under the grate to catch smaller debris


While the grate is good at catching larger objects before they get into the storm drain smaller leaves and foreign material can still enter the waterway and build up inside, causing an internal blockage. Installing a mesh or screen underneath the grate that is fine enough to catch the smaller foreign objects can help collect this debris before it causes a blockage further down the line. It would be important to remember to clear out this mesh at the same time as when you clean the grate.

Clean out your gutters every three months


Gutters are designed to collect the water that comes down during a storm and funnel it into your drains. However, they often collect a large amount of debris from trees which can then be swept into your drains when a storm comes down and clears the gutters out. Cleaning your gutters every three months when the season changes can prevent this built up material from flowing down into your stormwater drains and creating blockages.

Brawoliner Pipe Relining on steep front yard

Be aware of how water flows into your drains


Observing the route that water takes to flow down into your drains can give you an idea of where potentially hazardous debris might come from. If water during a storm is flowing under trees or through a garden it might carry more debris than a clear footpath or driveway. After noting how water flows into the drain clear out these areas so that during a storm only water finds its way into the pipes.

Check that you don’t have an issue with tree roots


Aside from organic debris like leaves the biggest cause of drain blockages from storms comes from tree roots penetrating pipes underground and causing blockages deep within the stormwater system. To check whether you have an issue with tree roots you need to stick a camera into your drain. If you do not have access to such equipment it might be worthwhile getting a professional in the check for you.

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