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                                                                                                                                                                 Last updated 26 January, 2014 > site map > types of drainage systems > churches                                                    

Church Drainage Systems

Church drainage systems tend to be mainly about storm water given their large roof area and associated car-parking areas, obviously there will be a provision for a foul drain system as well but on older churches it is not uncommon to find one toilet for the whole congregation.

The older buildings tend to have a lot of drainage and little if any access into it with silt, debris and tree root ingress being the main issues.

Church Drainage Construction

It really depends when the site was constructed and many churches and chapels will have buildings or sections of buildings that span centuries let alone many decades;

church basement drainageVictorian sites through to the 1960`s will usually have vitrified clay drainage externally and cast iron drainage beneath the building itself, the clay drains are prone to root ingress, fractures and displacement of joints and the cast iron pipes of this era start to corrode on the internal wall surface leading to snagging of paper and waste.

From the late 1960`s to mid 1970`s pitch fibre pipe work was used, a terrible product with a known working life span of 40 years, cast iron and clay drainage was also still in use. From the mid 1970`s onwards modern clayware systems, plastic pipe work and treated or lined cast or ductile iron systems have been used.

Another common feature on church buildings are cellars and part basements and this is often where we find the boiler to be sited, like any cellar or basement these areas can be prone to flooding.

Church Drainage Maintenance

As with all large sites after many years of neglect a full site clean is often required, this involves cleaning out all gullies around the building and flushing the main line below ground drainage through, how successful this is will be dependant on the available access into the system.

Church Drainage Charting and Mapping

This is where we clean and camera survey the entire drainage system to assess its general condition, often undertaken as part of new build projects or where subsidence has occurred to the building or hard standings.

Storm Water Rates (Rain Tax)

Churches have been greatly affected by storm water rates in recent years, a guy at the water company can easily sit in his office and scale a church roof on google earth before calculating your water rates based on average rainfall, however it may well be that your storm water or a good percentage of it runs to a river, brook or water course.

If you are being charged by your water company to treat all the storm water that falls on your site and you suspect that all or part of the rain water runs to a river, brook, water course or even a soak-away a full site survey is required before you can apply for a reduction in your water rates.

Drain Repairs on Church Ground

We have had to undertake numerous excavations within church grounds over the years and obviously this is a sensitive area when you are working in consecrated ground, for this reason the works have to be undertaken in a sympathetic manner and often under the supervision of a diocese or local archaeological society.


related pages - drain charting and mapping
  drain camera surveys
  do you need help with a church drainage system ?


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