Dean Street Studios

A legendary venue underwater

The site: Dean Street Studios is a renowned creative space in the heart of Soho – the place where many of David Bowie’s most celebrated albums were recorded. More recently, Ed Sheeran and Florence and the Machine are just some of the artists who have put down tracks here.

The problem: Recently the studio had played host to a much less welcome guest: terrible floods from its foul water drains. Repeated blockages in the drainage system had caused thousands of pounds of damage to equipment and property. Other contractors had failed to fix this, so Metro Mechanical were called in to identify the root cause of the problem.

Our remedial action

We asked Rob, one of our managers who visited the site, to tell us what happened next:

I initially went to site with the view of installing a pump station (to prevent waste from building up) or an inline drainage macerator (to liquidise any solid waste). But it soon became apparent that, due to the nature of the site and surrounding drainage and sewage systems, this was not going to be feasible.

So, our next step was to evaluate the condition of drainage across the site. We carried out a full CCTV survey, and it became apparent that the incumbent contractors were not carrying out thorough PPM. In particular, the stacks were not being descaled to an acceptable level and Burns chambers were not being adequately maintained. The landlord decided to call in the incumbent to rectify the issues we had identified.

An ‘internet of things’ solution: telemetry sensors

  • Metro Mechanical’s team had found the root causes behind these catastrophic blockages. But we did not stop there.
  • After listening carefully to our client’s wishes, we understood that they wanted 24-hour protection should the system block again. This called for a telemetry solution.
  • After analysing a few options, our team installed a bulk dielectric transducer (BDT) blocked sewer probe sensor.
    • BDT devices work by monitoring the water level within a given environment. The sensor transmits a radio signal to a control unit, and if the level is too high then an alert is sent to the Metro Mechanical ERP system. So, before a blockage turns into a disaster, we will be notified of the issue at once, and can get an engineer to site to address the issue.
  • With 10-year battery life and relatively low costs, this was the ideal solution to provide the studio’s owners with the reassurance they needed. The device was installed at the key strategic point on site – an interceptor manhole at the entrance to the site.
Metro Internet of Things

Back in business

Since then, the site has had no further drainage issues and the venue is back in use once again.


Still, we continuously monitor the site remotely to ensure that there are no further disruptions – and that great music can continue to be made at Dean Street Studios.