Blocked drains in #Cowick

Last week at Exeter Highways And Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC], we received an update on a recent Members’ briefing on the  emptying of gullies  [that’s drains to you and me!] .

The gully emptying policy is on DCC’s website and the update gave a statement of objectives:
– to remove detritus from the gully
– to ensure continued efficient functioning of the gully with its connection.

The update gave us another policy objective to the 3 of 4 listed on the website:
– empty urban gullies with sumps at least once every three years
– empty rural gullies with sumps at least once a year
– flush gullies without sumps once a year
– where it has been assessed that a gully requires more frequent cleansing the frequency shall be increased
[Examples of this are gullies where flooding will affect building or known to fill up more quickly].

              However, should I be worried that the update seemsot omit the missing fourth category?

                – respond to reports of blocked drains which are causing standing water, or could lead to a road becoming icy.

On Thursday, I noticed this drain near the Crossmead bus stop was blocked and surface water was not draining away.

Blocked gully on Dunsford Road
Blocked gully on Dunsford Road

On Monday 02 February I used DCC’s on-line reporting system to inform the County Council of this problem – the unique reference number W15767184 allows me to track progress on this fault.

At first I was informed that it would be sorted by 26/02/14 – but as I write this blog  a day later, I notice the fault has already been completed.

But not all blocked drains are so easy to clear…

Recently, I was made aware of this one at the end of the cul-de-sac in Oak Road.

Blocked drain on Oak Road
Blocked drain on Oak Road

It looks fairly innocuous made worse by the sunken road surface, a legacy of Eurobell’s cable installation far too long ago.

Cllr Paul Bull with blocked drain on Oak Road
Cllr Paul Bull with blocked drain on Oak Road

A large downpour on Saturday morning flooded the driveway and blocked the pathway. I received a phone call from one of the residents affected, but by the time I arrived 45 mins later the surface water had receded. But they had some photos on their camera….

Oak Road flooded [31/01/15] - 03
Oak Road flooded [31/01/15] 
As I had already reported this problem to DCC I was surprised when the resident told me that some contractors had turned up and took photos themselves on Thursdsay – not once but twice!

It appears that specialist equipment is needed to tackle this drain – a jetter machine – which the gang who attended last week did not have and so were not equipped ti do this job at that time.

I (and the resident) wait with anticipation – and the hope that it doesn’t rain too heavily in the interim!

And of course, none of this addresses the underlying problem of the sunken road

Raised cover due to sunken road
Raised cover due to sunken road
Sunken surface on Oak Road
Sunken surface on Oak Road