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UK's largest office block gets downpipe clean

MEDIA RELEASE: 03 | 09 | 2019

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Caption: Electro-mechanical pipe cleaning- removes debris from downpipes without the risk of water bursts associated with water jetting.


Major MoD office site gets drain downpipe clean

Drainage teams have cleaned downpipe stacks at one of the UK's largest office complexes.

The operatives, working for Lanes Group plc, were supporting commercial fit-out specialists Beacon Business Interiors who have been refurbishing toilet blocks at MoD Abbey Wood.

The site, at Filton, near Bristol, is home to Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S), the Ministry of Defence's procurement organisation.

Drainage engineers from the Lanes Bristol depot worked for 12 weekends to clean 29 downpipe stacks in the award-winning building.

Lanes Bristol Area Development Manager Matt Banks said: "The toilet refurbishment project was the ideal moment to clean the stacks.

"It ensured the internal drainage system was fit for purpose and would be operating at full capacity when the new facilities had been installed.

"Regular cleaning of downpipes is essential as they can become clogged with scale, hair, and residues from sanitation gels and detergents.

"Pipes in downpipe stacks can also be compromised by items wrongly flushed down toilets, such as wipes and sanitary products."

The drainage engineers used electro-mechanical cleaning equipment to scrub the insides of the 225mm-diameter cast-iron pipes build into the three and four-storey building.

The electric-powered device has a rotating head on the end of a flexible cable which removes debris as it is lowered through pipes.

While this was being lowered from above, a drainage engineer used a water jetting hose to flush debris from the pipe from below.

The Lanes team used a van-based water jetting unit as cobbled access road could not take the full weight of a jet vac tanker.

A remote hose-reel was deployed to reach several isolated stacks. This is a water jetting machine on a tracked unit for working off-road.

Lanes also carried out CCTV drainage surveys of the downpipes to check their condition and show the cleaning had been effective.

The MoD Abbey Wood offices were opened by The Queen in 1996. It has 1.63m2of building space on a 402-acre site.

More than 9,000 people work on the site which, in 1997, won a RICS award for ecological design.



PR Contact:Andy Comber
Telephone: 01952 883526
Mobile: 07889 630440

About Lanes Group

Lanes Group plc is a national wastewater and drainage solutions provider. It sits at the heart of the drainage industry in the UK and Ireland, and is serious about delivering excellence in service, safety and innovation.

The company has a network of 32 depots and strategic utility hubs, providing high quality utility, drainage, and maintenance services for commercial, public sector and domestic customers.

Its services include CCTV drainage surveys, drain and sewer cleaning and unblocking, sewer excavation and repair, sewer lining, wet well and tank emptying, industrial cleaning, tankering and professional services. 

Key market sectors are water utilities, construction, energy, rail, highways, insurance and commercial maintenance.


Unblocktoberis a month-long awareness campaign launched by Lanes Group plc. Members of the public will be invited to participate during the month of October and commit to only putting the 3 Ps; pee, poo and paper, down the drain for the entire month. Further information will be published