There are two types of sewers – private and public. Private sewers belong to you, the customer; public sewers belong to us, the waste services company. In addition, there are highway drains and gulleys that are the responsibility of local authorities.
The drainage pipes located within the boundary of your property, beneath your house, garden or driveway, belong to you and are your responsibility. They take away the waste water that flows from your property. Help to keep your drains and sewers flowing trouble free by following our best practice guide.
When these pipes reach outside the boundary of your property and connect to pipes serving another property they stop being your responsibility. This is illustrated in the diagram above.
We are responsible for the large sewers that are normally under the road or pavement. If you think one of our sewers is blocked, please give us a call on 0345 450 9549. We’ll arrange for our technicians to check it out. If a public sewer is blocked – that’s one owned by us – we’ll clear the pipe. If the problem is in a private drain or private sewer, we offer a fixed fee service whereby we will spend up to four hours investigating and clearing a blockage. If the blockage then re-occurs within 14 days we will clear it again for free, unless there is evidence of misuse. Alternatively, you can call a plumber or an independent drain clearing company to help you with this.
The highways authority, usually the county council, deals with blocked highway drains and road gullies that are causing surface water flooding. You can find a contact number for your county council highways department in the telephone book or online.
Call the Environment Agency’s Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for simple, clear and quick advice on what to do before, during and after flooding in bad weather. You can find more details on the Environment Agency website. We've also put together some useful advice here.