When to carry out CCTV surveys

Conducting a CCTV drainage inspection is crucial in various situations to maintain the health and functionality of a drainage system. Here’s a more detailed breakdown of the scenarios and the significance of these inspections:


  • Rationale: Before acquiring a property, it’s essential to ensure its foundational aspects, such as the drainage system, are in good shape. A faulty or damaged drainage system can lead to significant expenses in the future.
  • Procedure: A specialized camera is inserted into the drainage system to capture detailed visuals of the pipes. Any anomalies, including cracks, blockages, or intrusions, are immediately noticeable.

  • Outcome: A comprehensive report that includes various details like the material, diameter, and overall health of the pipes. This report will also come with a basic site diagram detailing the drainage system layout. Any identified issues will be highlighted, accompanied by potential recommendations.


  • Rationale: Before initiating any construction or extension work, it’s crucial to understand the existing infrastructure to avoid disruptions or damages. This ensures that any new construction integrates seamlessly with the current drainage paths.

  • Procedure: Alongside the CCTV survey, a sonar drain trace is often conducted. This combination helps in mapping the current drainage system, determining the depth of pipes, and their exact locations.

  • Outcome: A clear blueprint of the current drainage system that architects and construction teams can utilize to plan and execute their work without causing any damage or inconvenience.

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  • Rationale: Persistent blockages or drainage issues aren’t mere annoyances; they can be indicators of more severe underlying problems. Regularly experiencing such issues necessitates a thorough inspection.

  • Procedure: If blockages recur, a CCTV inspection can help diagnose the exact cause, be it a foreign object, structural damage, or another issue within the drainage system.

  • Outcome: Identification of persistent issues, providing clarity on the necessary interventions. With this information in hand, property owners can take proactive steps, ensuring the longevity and functionality of their drainage systems.


  • Rationale: Drains can be a conduit for pests into properties. If there’s a rampant pest problem, it’s worth checking if the drainage system is the source.
  • Procedure: Pest control experts may recommend a CCTV inspection to examine the drainage system for any breaks or damages that might be serving as entry points for pests.

  • Outcome: A clear understanding of any drainage vulnerabilities, allowing property owners to take remedial measures, both to fix their drainage and prevent future pest infestations.

In summary, CCTV drainage inspections are invaluable tools for property owners, architects, and pest control professionals. They provide clear insights, ensuring timely interventions and informed decisions, ultimately safeguarding the integrity of properties and their environments.

Sewers and lateral drains connected to the public network used to be the responsibility of the property owner. However, most are now maintained by local water companies. If you have any problems with your sewer or lateral drain, for example if it’s blocked, contact your local water company.

If you aren’t sure who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sewers connecting to your drain pipes you can check on the OFWAT website here

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