If your area has been experiencing an extended period of drought, you'll be aware of the general implications. You may be asked to save water to protect this precious resource and adjust your life accordingly. However, you may face additional repercussions associated with this lack of rain, and the drains underneath your property could be adversely affected. How can this happen, and what could be the consequence?
How the Weather May Play Havoc With Your Drainage System
During a prolonged drought, the groundwater table beneath your feet may recede and take with it any moisture that may bind those soil particles together. This may allow oxygen to penetrate, and oxidation can then separate the organic matter leading to subsidence. While this effect may not be pronounced, it will nevertheless be enough to affect any drainage pipes in the vicinity. The pipes may move as the soil shifts, and this can cause cracks or separation along their length.
Recognising the Signs of a Problem
You may first notice that you have a problem if an internal drain is slow to empty. Sometimes, your kitchen sink may begin to back up when you pull the plug out rather than releasing its content to the sewer. This signifies that an underground drain may be damaged or may now be blocked due to separation. The escaping water may not be able to reach its destination but may flow into the surrounding soil, with apparent consequences.
How to Deal With This Issue
If you suspect that you may have some underground settlement, you should call in a plumber as soon as possible. They'll be very familiar with this event and can take steps to make things right. They may introduce a high-tech gadget that contains a camera and powerful light connected to a flexible cable. They will feed this down the drain and into the pipe so they can determine what's going on. This equipment will also give them a very precise locator, so they know exactly where to excavate if they need to in order to fix the pipe. This should reduce the amount of damage to your lawn or pristine flowerbed.
What You Should Do Next
Unfortunately, there's very little you can do to avoid this type of problem if you're unlucky. Shifting soil is a consequence of long-term drought, and no significant changes appear to be on the horizon. Just keep a plumber's phone number on hand to take any action as needed.
Contact a local plumber to learn more about how to repair a blocked drain.
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