What Drains am I Responsible for?

Even if you consider your neighbours friends, your relationship may be tested when it comes to agreeing who is responsible for your drainage system.

The responsibility of blocked or corrupt drains depends solely on the placing of the sewer or drain. You’ll firstly need to figure out whether the blockage has occurred within a public sewer or private drain.

Public or Private?

The pipes that exit your home is called a drain. If the drain from your property joins the drain from another, it becomes a sewer. Sewers can be public or private, and the responsibility of unblocking them depends on this. It’s not always easy to determine if a sewer is private or public, so you may need to enquire.

Public sewers are taken on by sewerage undertakers, often this will be the local water authority. This means that the maintenance, cleaning and blockages are their responsibility.

Private Drains

If your property is the only one using a pipe, it is known as a private drain. This means that you are solely responsible for dealing with any blockages or maintenance, and you’ll have to pay for any professional work.

Private Sewers

If your property and your neighbour’s properties share the same pipe, it is known as a private sewer. In this case, every household that uses the pipe should share the cost of having any blockages cleared.

If there are any problems over who is responsible, your local Environmental Health Officers (EHO_ can help. They can serve a notice on everybody who is using a private sewer, ordering them to have it cleared.

What drains are causing issues?

If you’re experiencing problematic drains but are unsure if your drain or sewer is affected, contact your local EHO. They will visit your property and find out what the problem is and where it is occurring. They’ll also be able to tell you whether the problem is your sole responsibility, or if it is shared with your neighbours.

What to do next

If you’re in need of professional help for your blocked drains or sewers, we can help. For more information, or to talk to a member of the team, get in touch today by calling us on 0800 849 8099 or via our contact page.