Elderly man cleans the gutter

My Outside Drain Is Blocked! What Do I Do?

My Outside Drain Is Blocked! What Do I Do?When an outside drain is blocked, it can be a nasty surprise to find in the garden. Overflowing stormwater from a grated pit or sewerage from an overflow relief gully (ORG) are the two common types of blocked drains that occur outside. If you find you have a blocked drain outside, here is how to respond to the blockage.

Identify the type of blocked drain and respond appropriately

If there is clear water with leaf matter overflowing out of a grated drain, this means there is a blockage of the stormwater. This type of blocked drain does not require immediate attention, unless it causes a flood (which can initiate damage to property) or a wet weather event is on its way which has the potential to flood. A stormwater blockage is usually caused by rubbish or an accumulation of leaf and garden matter that can get stuck in the stormwater pipe. Using a rod plunger or a mop as a plunger can flush the blockage, but if this is of no use, you will need to call a plumber.

If you have a round 100mm grated drain that is overflowing raw sewerage, this is a big problem and needs a plumber’s attention immediately. This type of blockage can be caused by a blockage in the Sydney Water main in your street, or it could be a blockage on your main house sewer caused by foreign matter or tree roots.

If you know your sewer is prone to tree roots, get these investigated yearly with a drain camera and cleaning machine. Consider getting the problem area replaced to prevent future blockages.

Prevention is better than cure

Blocked drains outside can often be avoided. Here are some tips to maintain the stormwater and sewer waste connections from your property.

Maintain outside stormwater drains

  • Clear gutters of leaf and branch matter regularly.
  • Use a hose to clear out down pipes.
  • Use a hose to clear out stormwater drains.
  • Always keep gardens and trees trimmed to ensure their foliage doesn’t fall into gutters or lay across stormwater grates.

Maintain outside sewerage drains

  • Inspect the Overflow Relief Gully quarterly to check on the water levels. If it’s a high water level, you may have a partial blockage on your sewer line.
  • Never glue the ORG grate or cover the grate. It’s meant to pop up if an overflow of sewerage occurs. Covering the grate can redirect an overflow of sewerage into your property.
  • If you know your sewer is prone to tree roots, get these investigated yearly with a drain camera and cleaning machine.
  • Only flush pee, poo and paper down toilets. Anything else has the potential to block the sewer and cause a nasty overflow outside.

Outside drain blocked? Give Gladesville Plumbing a call. We have the experience and tools required to get your pipes free flowing again.


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