Construction professionals concerned about waste entering UK’s drainage system

Construction professionals concerned about waste entering UK’s drainage system

A new survey reveals that the majority of professionals in construction and the building trade are concerned about the environmental impact of waste entering the UK’s drainage system from construction sites.


The new poll of 363 professionals who work on or for UK construction sites was carried out as part of a new study into the environmental impact of construction site waste by Sitestak, a leading provider of specialist drainage supplies and related products.


It found that 98% of building trade professionals are concerned that waste entering manholes on construction sites is having a negative impact on the environment and the water system. 74% believed the environmental impact of this issue was likely to be ‘very negative’, while 24% felt that the problem is ‘slightly negative’.


Waste that enters drains from construction sites joins the main sewage network, where it is screened and treated by water companies before being returned to rivers. However, during heavy rainfall wastewater that hasn’t yet been treated can ‘overspill’ into rivers and lakes. According to the conservation charity The Rivers Trust¹, sewage is discharged into rivers across the UK and Ireland on a daily basis due to overspill events. Data analysis by the Daily Telegraph² suggests that untreated sewage gets released into rivers more than 1,000 times a day.


Waste that enters the drainage system from UK construction sites is an increasing problem, as it is commonplace for silt, mud and litter to fall into manholes during operations. The issue is widespread, with 96% of survey respondents saying that they had seen, experienced or heard about this happening on building sites they have worked with.


While it is possible that manholes are sometimes incorrectly used for waste disposal, the cause of materials entering them is most often accidental. This was emphasised in the survey, with 96% of respondents saying that they’d welcome a solution which prevents silt, mud and litter from accidentally falling into drainage.


Peter James, Managing Director of SiteStak commented: “Our study shows that waste materials are frequently entering the sewage system from construction sites, which is obviously concerning for the environment and our rivers. Most industry professionals in the poll seem to see this as a significant issue too, and we often hear from people on construction sites who are trying to prevent large quantities of waste from entering the drainage system. As a company we focus on creating products that solve problems, which is why we are looking into a solution to prevent waste from accidentally entering manholes.”


For more information about the study, visit:

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