hebs Flowtech cupboard repair and maintenance in Ashton

Reports of cutbacks are not usually welcome, but at Ashton-under-Lyne Ambulance Station a set of cupboards were no longer needed – and hebs Flowtech helped to make history of them with our cupboard repair and maintenance services.

Our team attended to dismantle the parts of the cupboards that were no longer needed, freeing up useful floor space and providing much easier access to the ambulance station’s windows.

We left one cupboard where it was, and cut back the worktop over it to match. This means the staff at the station still have some storage space, but aren’t missing out on a major amount of floor space too.

The training room is now much more open, which will help immediately with social distancing during the remainder of the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as making the room more usable for the long term too.


What we did

You might associate Flowtech with drainpipes and gutters, especially if you’ve read most of our past case studies and seen the work we do.

But the Flowtech team can do much more than just clear blocked drains. To complete work on this job, we:

  • Dismantled and removed cupboards that were no longer needed
  • Cut back the excess worktop to fit the remaining cupboard
  • Added safety trim to the remaining worktop edge
  • Hoovered and cleaned exposed PVC


We’re proud to support our customers by providing a highly responsive service to carry out all kinds of maintenance and repair work, including these kinds of alterations.

Your premises should give you what you need from them – and if your needs have changed, your premises should change too.

If you’re stuck working around old built-in cupboards that you no longer need, call Flowtech on 0151 2360707 and we’re bound to be able to help get things up to date for you.


How we work

Flowtech’s commitment is to you, our customer. We will work with minimum disruption to your day, especially if you need us to carry out the work while you are open for business.

We work with ambulance stations and other emergency services facilities across the north-west, and we understand the unique pressures you face, and the need for 24/7 operations.

By avoiding any interruption to your services, we ensure you can continue to fulfil your duties to local residents.

We’ll even clean up after ourselves so that when we leave, you can go back to using your space for meetings, training or general office work, without delay.

What to know about foul and surface water drainage systems

Where does water go when it leaves your premises? You might think it all ends up in the sewer, but that’s not necessarily the case. It’s important to understand the difference between foul water and surface water, and the drainage systems that carry both.

Let’s start with two simple definitions:

  • Foul water is wastewater from kitchens, bathrooms and utility rooms. It may be contaminated by human waste, soap, laundry detergent and other materials.
  • Surface water is rain that falls on your premises and drains away, including run-off from flat surfaces like car parks, paths and driveways, as well as water collected by gutters and drainpipes.

Surface water is usually relatively clean, and there’s no reason why it can’t be released into a nearby stream or river to reduce pressure on the sewer system.

The difference between foul and surface water is quite obvious – and there should be big differences in the way foul and surface water drainage systems deal with them too.


What’s the difference between foul and surface water drainage systems?

We’ve already mentioned that surface water is safe to release into a local waterway, whereas foul water should only be released into the sewers, where it can be transported to a nearby sewage treatment facility.

The two types of water should be kept completely separate at all times, so the difference between foul and surface water drainage systems is that they are essentially two completely separate pipelines from your premises to the appropriate destination.

Foul water is also generated in specific places: a kitchen, a bathroom or a utility room in most cases. You know where it is coming from and can run a pipeline accordingly.

Surface water is a little more complex. It falls uniformly across your premises, including your rooftops, hard standings and grassy areas.

While some can be left to soak away naturally, surface water drainage systems include ways to collect the water into one place, such as gutters, drainpipes and floor-level gulleys.


Call in the experts

If you need work carrying out on your foul and surface water drainage systems, it’s best left to the experts, to make sure your foul water drainage does not contaminate your surface water run-off.

Call hebs Flowtech on 0151 2360707 for all drainage services. We can fix blocked drains and broken pipes, as well as many more tasks, and we’ll clean up after ourselves when we’re done. Whatever you’re facing, we’re here to help.

BT ISDN Switch Off: The evolution of telecommunication

The great BT ISDN Switch Off is gathering pace as we move towards the end of analogue telecommunications in the UK in 2025.

By that time, all telephone lines supplied by BT, as well as many other UK telecoms providers, will be all-IP and serviced via a broadband connection, rather than the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

The move is part of an industry-wide effort to transition all UK telecommunications equipment to digital lines, and a reflection of the changing way in which business and consumers already make calls.

“VoIP, Skype, WhatsApp and more lately the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams are being increasingly used to communicate,” BT said in July 2020.

“These new apps offer converged telephony, better quality, HD voice and many other additional features. And as we look ahead to the Internet of Things, this will help bring a seamless integration between devices and networks.”

What does this mean for customers?

The aim is to minimise any negative impact on customers, although as analogue lines are switched off, domestic users will need to connect their telephone via their modem instead of directly to the telephone socket on their wall.

For business users, there are more implications. The PSTN switch-off includes ISDN lines, which provide combined voice and high-speed internet services, and were installed in many business premises and homes before ADSL became available.

After 2025, businesses will need to move to an alternative technology. Some ‘Special Services’ equipment that requires a telephone line may also stop working, including:

  • Fire alarms
  • Security alarms
  • Personal alarms (e.g. fall detectors for the elderly)

While some equipment may be compatible with all-IP connections after an upgrade (or simply by connecting it via a modem instead of directly to the wall), older devices may need to be replaced.

How to get ready for ISDN switch-off day

If you have any concerns about your telephony equipment or ISDN lines, contact hebs Group today on 0151 2360707 and our telecoms team can help you decide what you need to do about it.

We can install IP telephone lines where required and make sure your broadband connection is sufficient to carry your data and voice traffic without any problems.

Business users are more likely to have unique needs and you may have relatively old infrastructure in place that has not needed updating until now.

We can get everything up to date for you, so there is no risk of business interruption when Openreach flick the ‘off’ switch in the coming years.

How can civil engineers adapt to climate change in 2021?

Climate change is a challenge across all sectors, and civil engineering is no exception. At the same time, we are in an exciting period for civil engineers, who play a critical role in responding to those same challenges.

The Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) has made 2021 its year to focus on “the latest thinking, developments and big questions around climate change and its impact on the built environment”.

It adds: “We already have the questions. We just need the answers.”

The agenda for 2021 covers four main areas:

  • De-carbonising the economy
  • Providing water security even as the population increases
  • Making the economy, society and environment genuinely sustainable
  • Using technology to do more with existing assets, especially in cities

Better drainage systems for flood water are also a significant priority, as the ICE says “it’s time to think, not sink”.

Treating climate change as a business risk

Civil engineers are in a unique position to help in the battle against climate change. But until the war is won, climate change poses a business risk to civil engineers, just as it does to businesses in other industries.

The Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommends that businesses should consider the financial impact of climate change, including a scenario where global temperatures rise by 2C or less.

Other reporting requirements are already in place for environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions, and civil engineers should of course comply with any mandatory reporting.

What can civil engineers do in 2021?

Cutting carbon emissions is a good start, but as far back as 2017, the ICE warned that civil engineers must be prepared to do more.

Geoff Darch, editor of a themed issue of the institution’s Engineering Sustainability journal, called on civil engineers to innovate and put in place flexible systems that can continue to adapt in the future.

He again warned of the risks from excess water during severe storms, and the need for sustainable drainage systems in urban areas.

While extreme storms may be relatively rare, they are likely to become more common as the warming atmosphere contains more energy – so civil engineers should make it a priority to prepare for this without delay.

The global shutdown of 2020 put a halt to a lot of non-essential engineering work. Now it’s time to reboot the system, and there’s no better moment to adapt and adopt truly sustainable working practices, not only in civil engineering but across the economy as a whole.

Get in touch with hebs on 0151 2360707 for more information about al of our services and civil engineering capabilities.