MIsconnections Tracing

Misconnections? Still looking for the right tool? STS Instruments Ltd have the solution...



Even with 20/20 vision you can be lead up the garden path chasing down misconnected sewers and drains- unless of course you use the right tool for the job!


Numerous teams of workers face the same battle everyday – identifying which house, or street, or neighbourhood is discharging foul water into what should be storm water drains and culverts.  There are of course sound and long standing techniques for tracing down the culprits – a rather crude analogy being “scratch and sniff”.  If it’s not dirty and doesn’t smell then the source of the local EA officers’ ongoing complaint can’t be from that drain- surely not?


So of course we move onto the next tried and tested technique of caging – which is of course fool proof – so long as the cage actually catches something and the investigation team have the time and resources to come back and check it.  Of course having established there is a problem with a particular outfall it’s just a mere question of caging each and every inflow into that system before you find the culprit – perhaps a somewhat lengthy process!


And finally of course there is the holy grail of knocking on every door in the street, to find of course that the owner is out – or less than cooperative- or apparently doesn’t know who owns the house…and then requesting to tip dye down their toilets and sinks before rushing back outside and down the road in the hope that a river of bright green dye will miraculously appear. And all of this of course relying on there not having been any serious rain in the last 24hours (a somewhat rare occurrence in some parts of the country).


So surely there must be a solution, a solid, trustworthy, repeatable, established, simple and affordable one?


Of course there is – it’s monitoring – but not the sort which requires a carefully salvaged sample to be kept at exactly 18C in a specially sanitised bottle and transferred to the lab within exactly 6 hours – only to sit in the reception area till the next morning when the cleaner trips over it, and to then wait a further 7 days for the mysterious result to be generated – by which time of course the pollution you were looking at has long since disappeared!


No – the answer is on site instantaneous sampling and results which will definitively tell you if the drain you are currently standing up to your knees in is as clean as it should be or if you are standing in someones waste water –or worse.


STS Instruments have therefore developed and manufacture a field portable instrument the “SMF4” which can analyse a water sample for the presence of faecal pollution in under 2 seconds.


A very small sample (under 5ml) is placed into a cell and inserted into the instrument and the device triggered generating a UV excitation of the sample and recording the resultant emission.  The result is displayed immediately on the instruments screen as a number of counts.


Users set their own thresholds over which further investigation should be carried out and so non-scientific staff can easily be shown how to operate the instrument and interpret the results without any expertise.


SMF4 units are being used by the EA and Water companies and have proved to especially successful where there is a strong cooperation between the two.  With both parties being able to agree thresholds above which investigation is required the SMF4 provides a quantifiable solution that can rapidly help to resolve cross connections and satisfy regulatory pressure.


For more information please contact:


Jim Ward at jim@safetrainingsystems.com or on +44 (0) 1344 483563

N.B. The information contained in this entry is provided by the above supplier, and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher