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Investment powers advanced cleaning

A Staffordshire housing association has invested in state-of-the-art drain jetting equipment designed to deliver better value on rental income as well as extending the services it offers to local residents.

Property Care, part of the Housing Plus Group based at Acton Gate, has unveiled a new jetting vehicle staffed by specially-trained operatives.

Drain-jetting uses streams of high pressure water to clear blockages in pipes. Expert analysis of CCTV pictures means that trained operatives can also spot any damage caused by the blockage without a need for digging to expose the pipework. The high pressure jets are more effective than traditional rods because they can reach further into the pipes, swoosh round bends and exert much more force to shift stubborn blockages. And because the jets use pure water, it is a clean and green way to work.

Property Care has previously called-in sub-contractors to carry out this work in neighbourhoods where it manages property. This has meant an expenditure of around £57,000 per year at a time when the association is trying to maintain spending on home improvements in the face of cuts to social housing rents.

“Growing our own skills and services instead of using sub-contractors helps to reduce our costs. It also gives us excellent control over the quality of work and helps efficient planning, supporting our Fair Landlord policy to ensure that our resources are allocated to benefit the majority of our customers,” said Andrew Kenny, senior operations manager at Property Care.

The new jetting vehicle is expected to produce a return on investment in as little as six months. Andrew Kenny forecasts that as well as generating annual savings of around £20,000, the jetting service will bring other benefits too: “It is an exciting time for us. For the first time we will be able to offer competitively-priced drain jetting services to members of the public as well as to our own tenants.”