QWM Group

Who is Responsible for the Drains and Sewers on My Property?

What is a homeowner responsible for?

There are two main sewer types – private and public. You are responsible for maintaining private sewers and your local waterboard will cover the public ones.

There are also highway drains and gullies that which are the responsibility of your local authority.

Before October 2011 – The homeowner was responsible for both their own drains and some of the drains in-place outside of the property boundary.

After October 2011 – The homeowner is only responsible for the drains inside their property boundary that are connected to the property.

As soon as your drain pipe joins up with a neighbour’s drains, main sewer line, or goes beyond your property boundary, this is no longer your responsibility.

What happens if I am subject to a blocked drain or drain damage?

If you experience a blockage or notice signs of slow drainage in your property, you might not instantly know where the problem is coming from. If you arrange for an inspection of the drains that surround your property and a blockage is found beyond the property boundary it could be one of two things, a blockage on your neighbours side who will need to contact a drainage contractor such as Quest, or contact your local waterboard. who will be required to attend and carry out the necessary repairs.

If the blockage or damage is within your boundary and in a pipe serving your home, then the responsibly is with you to resolve the issue, we advise you do this as soon as possible to prevent further damage or a blockage beginning to backup inside your home.

After a visual inspection, engineers will provide a best course of action whether this be clearing the drains or carrying out repairs.

We advise that you check with your insurance before carrying out any works as it could be possible that your drains are covered by your home insurance

What about sewers?

Whilst the pipes coming from your home are your responsibly to maintain, the main sewer system that they join up with isn’t.

The main sewer line is where all of the surrounding properties on your street join together to dispose of waste water.

It is the responsibly of the area’s water supplier to maintain and arrange for any necessary unblocking or repairs should an issue occur.

Responsibility for highway drains

Your local water supplier is not responsible for maintaining blocked highway drains. You should report blocked highway drains to the relevant local authority.

They are responsible for keeping road gullies clear so that water can drain away freely. If a gully becomes blocked and causes flooding in the road, the Highways Authority will be responsible for clearing it.