Plumbing and wrong connections

Pollution in Alexandra Park from wrongly connected pipes - May 2013

This picture shows pollution in the stream in Alexandra Park after heavy rainfall in May 2013.  It is caused by untreated water entering the surface water drains rather than the foul (sewer) drain due to wrongly connected pipes further up the water course.   In Hastings we have two ways that waste water, including sewage, is removed from our properties. There is the sewer pipe, known as a foul water pipe, which is connected to the sewerage treatment plant where it is cleaned before release into streams and finally the sea. The other pipe is the rain water or surface water pipe, water from this system goes directly into the streams and out to sea without treatment. If the waste water pipes in your property, ie from your bath, sink, toilet, dishwasher or washing machine are plumbed into the rain water pipe or surface water pipe, rather than the sewer or foul water pipe the water and other materials are not treated and eventually end up in the sea in their raw state. Pipes that  are not connected correctly are known as missed connections and are one of the causes of pollution and increased bacteria rates in the sea. The illustration below shows the correct plumbing for your property.  If you are in doubt

It is a serious issue and the responsibility of the property owner to fix a wrongly connected pipe, there is a fine of up to £20,000 if pipes are found to be incorrectly connected. The storm drains that are in the road are also not connected to the sewer so if paint, engine oil or other substances are poured in here they will find their way out to sea without being treated.  These items need to be taken to the local tip or recycling centre or call your local council for advice on the proper place the dispose of them.


Take a look at the following blog from Jon Snowden, Technical Adviser – Pollution Prevention at the Environment Agency.  It clearly shows what happens when pipes are not connected correctly. Don’t Ruin the Summer – call a plumber!   Help Keep our Sea Clean

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