Don’t let your drains be a drain on your company’s resources: A guide to commercial drainage

Maintaining proper drainage is crucial for the smooth operation of any commercial establishment. Whether you run a small business or a large enterprise, understanding the importance of commercial drainage and implementing effective strategies can help prevent costly disruptions and ensure a safe and hygienic environment for both employees and customers.

Poor drainage is a potential health hazard and can lead to property damage, and negative impacts on your customers’ experience. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to commercial drainage for UK business owners.

Know your drains

Before implementing any drainage measures, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of your property’s drain system. Familiarise yourself with the location of drains, pipes, and any existing infrastructure. Identify both internal and external drainage systems, including toilets, sinks, gutters, and downspouts. This knowledge will help you better address potential issues and make informed decisions about maintenance and improvements.

Regular maintenance

Good housekeeping is key to preventing drainage problems. Create a maintenance schedule for cleaning and inspection and ensure that it is followed diligently. Tasks may include clearing debris from gutters and drains, inspecting pipes for leaks or blockages, and conducting periodic checks for signs of damage or wear. Engaging a professional drainage company, such as Elliott’s, that specialises in commercial properties can help ensure thorough and efficient maintenance.

Prevention is better than cure in most walks of life… and the adage certainly applies to commercial drainage.  A few preventive measures to consider:

Grease traps

Install grease collectors in kitchens and food preparation areas to prevent oil and grease from entering the drainage system, causing blockages and foul odours.

Drain covers

Fit manhole and drain covers in outdoor areas to prevent leaves, litter, and other debris from entering and clogging drains.

Educate employees

Train your staff about proper waste disposal practices and the importance of not flushing or pouring substances that can cause blockages down the drains. Encourage them to report any drainage issues promptly.

Drain upgrades

If your property has an ageing or inadequate drainage system, it may be beneficial to consider upgrading it or making some key improvements. As professional drainage specialists we can assess your needs and recommend suitable solutions. Upgrades might include installing larger pipes, adding additional drainage points, or implementing sustainable drainage systems (SUDS) to manage rainwater efficiently.


Even with proper maintenance and preventive measures, emergencies can still occur. Establish a critical response plan for drainage issues, including contact information for a reliable drainage company that offers 24/7 emergency services. Acting promptly during such situations can help minimize damage and downtime.

Regulatory compliance

Ensure your drainage system complies with relevant regulations and standards. In the UK, businesses must adhere to guidelines set by local water authorities, environmental agencies, and health and safety bodies. Staying compliant not only avoids potential penalties but also demonstrates your commitment to responsible business practices.

Proper commercial drainage is vital for the smooth operation of most British businesses. By understanding your drainage system, implementing regular maintenance, taking preventive measures, considering upgrades when necessary, and being prepared for emergencies, you can ensure a safe and efficient drainage system within your commercial property. By doing so, you’ll safeguard your business, minimise costly disruptions, and maintain a pleasant environment for employees and customers alike.

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