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Who is Responsible for Drains and Sewers on My Property?

The drainage system serving and surrounding your household can be prone to various one-off or recurring issues. When these problems arise, homeowners should be clear on who is responsible for any maintenance or repair works that might be necessary. In this article, we aim to make that clear.

What is a homeowner responsible for?

Back before October 2011, a homeowner was responsible for their own drains as well as lateral drains – and even some drains outside of their property boundaries. However, since October 2011, drain responsibility is much more simple: a homeowner is only responsible for the drains inside their property boundary, connected to their property.

As soon as your drain pipe connects with a neighbour’s, the main sewer line, or leaves your property boundary, they are no longer your responsibility.

How does this affect drain repairs?

Drain blockages, damage or any nagging issues with drainage can be frustrating for any homeowner. The added complication of accountability can make the whole process more stressful and disruptive than it needs to be.

Put simply, for any pipes that serve your property and are within your boundaries – including drains running through your garden, driveway or under the house itself – it’s up to you to maintain and arrange repairs for.

For any pipes outside of your boundary – and for any pipes which connect your drains to a neighbour’s drains – it becomes your water supplier’s responsibility to carry out repairs.

How to handle blockages or drain damage

Even if you experience a blockage or see signs of slow drains in your home, it still takes a bit of work to figure out exactly where the problem lies. If you arrange to have an inspection of the the surrounding drains, but a blockage is found to be outside of your property, it is not your responsibility to carry out the repair. It will either be your neighbour’s – who will have to contact a drainage contractor – or your water supplier, who will have to perform the repairs themselves.

If the blockage or damage is within your boundary and in a pipe serving your home, then the onus is on you to resolve the issue. This can be done by getting in touch with a drainage contractor and discussing the issue with them. After an inspection, the drain will either be cleared or repaired. It is possible that your drains are covered by your home insurance, so make sure to check this beforehand.

What about sewers?

While the pipes coming from your home are yours to maintain, the main sewer system that they connect to are not. The sewers are where all the surrounding properties on your street connect to, so assigning accountability to any one of these is impossible. Therefore, it falls to the area’s water supplier to maintain and arrange repairs should any damage, blockages or wear and tear become an issue.

ClearFirst Drainage provide a range of professional drainage services to resolve major and minor issues with your drains. We work closely with you to provide a swift and safe solution to ensure your drains are unblocked, cleaned and repaired to the highest possible standards. We offer a rapid response service and our team of specialists can advise on how best to care for your drains to prevent trouble in the future. For more information, contact us today.

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