Another drainage issue

Plant roots in a sewer pipe

“We’re hearing noises in the loft” was the initial call out and a quick look revealed rat droppings spread around in the insulation up there. Rats typically get into loft spaces via the cavity walls so the next place to check was outside, making sure there’s no obvious sign of entry through a faulty air-brick or a rat burrow. If there’s nothing obvious then the chances are entry is via the foul sewer so the next check is to look in an inspection chamber for evidence. On this occasion, we felt it was worth putting a CCTV camera into the pipe and, sure enough, when we got to the rest bend (where the pipe changes from the horizontal plane to the vertical) we were met with this image.
The yellow/white strands in the foreground are plant roots growing along the pipe and the small dot of white in the centre of the image is daylight coming in at the top of the soil stack – we’re looking vertically upwards in this image. However, there’s something very wrong in the bottom right of this picture: pipe walls should be smooth!
The fix will be to dig down to the rest bend and repair it but, for now, we’ve fitted a one-way valve in the chamber to stop any more rats getting in.