The Importance of Gully Cleaning and Maintenance

A gully drain, also known simply as a gully, is designed to catch surface water and channel it into underground drainage systems. Gullies are an integral part of drainage infrastructure as they collect rainwater, surface runoff, and other types of water accumulation.

A gully consists of several key components:

  • Grate or cover: Often made of metal or plastic, it shelters the opening of the gully. The grate allows water to enter while preventing larger debris from clogging the system.
  • Sediment Trap or sump: This part collects silt and smaller debris, reducing the risk of blockages in downstream pipes.
  • Outlet Pipe: This connects the gully to the main drainage system, allowing the collected water to be efficiently channelled away.

By incorporating these elements, gullies effectively manage surface water and maintain the functionality of drainage systems.


A drain in a puddle

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Why Gully’s need to be maintained

Despite being equipped with sediment traps and grate covers, gully drains are prone to blockages over time. These blockages occur when debris such as leaves, litter, and mud accumulate and obstruct the flow of water. While these are the most common cause of gully blockages, a wide variety of other materials can contribute to gully blockages.

When a gully becomes blocked, it can lead to several serious issues:

  • Blocked pipes: Debris buildup can prevent water from flowing through the drainage system causing pipes to become clogged.
  • Flooding: Blocked gullies can cause surface water to accumulate, leading to flooding in the surrounding area
  • Structural damage: Prolonged water exposure from blocked gullies can damage the foundations of properties.

To prevent these issues, regular maintenance of gullies is crucial. For residential properties, it is recommended to clean gullies every two years. However, in areas with high rainfall or significant debris accumulation, more frequent cleaning is advisory – every four months, to ensure optimal performance and prevent blockages. 



Types of Gully Drains

Gully drains come in various types, each designed to serve specific purposed in managing surface water and ensuring proper drainage. The most common types are:

1. Road Gully:

Purpose: designed to handle runoff from road and highways.

Location: Typically found along the edges of roads and streets.

Features: equipped with heavy-duty grates to withstand traffic loads and prevent large debris from entering the drainage system.

Maintenance: Regular cleaning is essential to prevent blockages from road debris, such as leaves, litter, and silt.

2. Yard Gully:

Purpose: Used in residential and commercial properties to drain water from yards, gardens, patios, and driveways.

Location: Installed in areas where surface water can accumulate around properties.

Features: Often have a smaller and less robust grate compared to road gullies, suitable for handling lighter loads.

Maintenance: Should be cleaned periodically to remove garden debris, soil, and other materials that can cause blockages.

3. Rainwater Gully:

Purpose: Specifically designed to manage rainwater collected from rooftops and other elevated surfaces.

Location: Usually found at the base of downpipes connected to guttering systems.

Features: Include a sump to collect debris washed down from roofs, preventing it from entering the main drainage system.

Maintenance: Regular inspection and cleaning are necessary to remove leaves, moss, and other debris that can accumulate in the sump. 

4. Industrial Gully:

Purpose: Designed for industrial sites to handle runoff from large, paved areas and manage wastewater.

Location: Found in factories warehouses, and other industrial facilities

Features: Build to withstand heavy loads and potentially hazardous substances, often made from corrosion-resistant materials.

Maintenance: Requires frequent cleaning and inspection due to the high risk of contamination and blockage from industrial waste.



The process

Despite the size of the gully, HCL ultimately follow the same procedure to effectively deal with them. To clear a blocked gully an initial inspection is conducted to assess the extent of the blockage and identify any hazards. A CCTV camera may be used to inspect the internal condition of the gully and connected pipes, which can locate the blockage. Large debris such as plastic bags or litter, is manually removed to allow a more thorough cleaning. After, high-pressure water jetting is used to dislodge and break up remaining debris, silt, and sludge inside the gully. The force of the water helps to clear blockages and flush the loosened material towards the vacuum tanker hose. Powerful tankers are used to suck out the dislodged debris and water to ensure all waste material is efficiently removed from the gully. HCL transports this waste to the HCL waste recycling facility to ensure the most effective and safe waste disposal. HCL engineers promise to doublecheck after the tanker to ensure the gully has been efficiently cleaned, cleared, and is functioning correctly. Lastly, water testing is conducted to ensure there is no other contaminants.


A diagram of a drainage system

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If you are interested in gully cleaning services, whether residential or industrial, Hydro Cleansing covers it all. Contact us today at 0800 740 8888.