Yorkshire Water’s partnership with Technolog and Utilitec Services in Sheffield and surrounding areas has helped identify 100 sewer blockages and enable them to be resolved before causing wider problems for customers and the environment.

Blockages are often caused by unflushables, such as wet wipes, sanitary items and fats, oils and greases being flushed or poured into the network.

The utility has installed 3,000 sewer alarms in Sheffield postcodes, as part of a wider project to install 40,000 alarms across Yorkshire.

The technology monitors water levels within combined sewer gullies using a pressure sensor which sends an alert remotely when an increase in level is identified. The devices use a wireless network to enable Yorkshire Water teams to identifying trends in how the sewers are performing.

One hundred blockages have been successfully identified by the Technolog sewer alarms in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in six months. Early identification enabled the blockages to be resolved quickly and reduce the potential impact sewer blockages have on Yorkshire Water customers and the wider environment.

Jeremy Head, project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “This project is a significant investment in increasing the technology in operation across our network and it is great to see it producing positive results.

“The ability to remotely identify possible blockages and dispatch our teams to investigate means issues are dealt with quicker than they would be normally. Ultimately, this reduces the likelihood of a complete blockage in our sewers and the impact that can have, which includes restricted toilet use from customers and the potential for sewage to back-up and escape from the network into the local environment or watercourses.

“The project is still in full flow and installations are continuing in Sheffield and across the rest of Yorkshire, which it is hoped will continue to deliver the benefits we’ve seen so far.”

Work is continuing to install further monitors in Sheffield postcodes, with approximately 10,000 monitors due to be in place when the project completes.