Not uncommon: a damaged inspection chamber

Concrete missing from the edge of a foul sewer inspection chamber allows rats to exit the system

A working kitchen serving meals to the children in a nursery really can’t afford to have a rodent problem – but that’s exactly what we were asked to help with recently. Lacking space in the main building, the freezers and bulk chillers were in an outbuilding – and so were some rats. Obviously, this had to be resolved quickly but the question was: where were the rats coming from? The site was in the middle of a row of homes, there’s no obvious issue elsewhere…so rats must have an easy way in and out of the site somehow.

Once the nursery was closed for the day, we could have a good look around without getting in the way. Fortunately, the answer was staring us in the face: right outside the kitchen door, we found this inspection cover with a section of the concrete surround missing. Looks ‘ratty’ to us and that was confirmed by lifting the lid; sure enough, the chamber was littered with rat droppings and, if further proof were required, viewed from within the chamber we could see dark grease stains around hole – these are left by rodents as they brush past and the ‘weight’ of them offer a general guide to the severity of the problem.

Dealing with the hole the rats had chewed into the freezer storage unit was a job undertaken by the site’s own team – and just we had to stop rats getting out of the sewer. Fortunately, we carry suitable tools and concrete mix so it’s on with the knee pads and out with the trowel…

Freshly laid concrete to make good a missing section that we found around a sewer manhole cover
Now repaired with a cement infill, this inspection chamber won’t allow rats to get out of the sewer network and restores the area to calm tranquillity!

And there’s the end result: a nice neat repair to the frame of the inspection cover. Despite the weather not helping, we were able to give this time to ‘cure’ (as the setting process is called) and then make sure everything is ship-shape and ready to go for the children to return on the following Monday. While we were about it, we tidied up the other end of the chamber surround as well. It didn’t look great and, well, we had to mix-up some concrete anyway!

Job done.