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Who is Responsible for your Drain?

Who is Responsible for your Drain?

Backed up drains; cracked external pipework; faulty guttering; blocked sewers – no matter how well you look after your drainage system, it’s a possibility that any of these disasters can occur at any time.

Man unblocking a drain

But who is responsible for rectifying drain problems? Before taking any further action, it’s vitally important to answer this question, and here are a few handy tips to help you do so.


Private Drains

As a general rule, you or your landlord – as the homeowner – are responsible for all drains inside the boundaries of your property, which includes all gutters, pipes and drains that lead up to the edge of your premises (beyond this, where they meet the public sewer works, the same pipes are the responsibility of external authorities, and are known as ‘lateral drains’). Anything that drains water and waste from a building or adjoining structure is classified as a drain.

If there is a fault with any part of this system, from blocked gutters to overflowing waste pipes, you must contact drainage contractors to repair the problem at your own cost. In some rare cases, there are still some privately owned sewers that are the property of certain houses, especially larger estates. If your house is in a slightly isolated, rural region, it might be worthwhile to check the deeds of the property to determine accountability.


Lateral Drains

Lateral drains are defined as any pipework that runs outside the boundary of your property before it reaches the sewer network, even if the pipe originated as a private drain on your premises. As mentioned briefly above, lateral drains are the responsibility of the local water and sewage company. In the UK, the companies are divided regionally, and who you contact depends entirely on your location.

The full list consists of: 



Local water authorities are also accountable for any sewer works in the nearby vicinity of your property. Sewers collect water and waste from all pipes and lateral drains and, in the main, are publicly owned. Some may not be connected to the public sewer system however, instead using cesspools, septic tanks or treatment plants.

In these cases, the responsibility for upkeep is passed back to the proprietor of the home or business, or the independent owner of each sewage system, although no sewerage charges are included in water bills for these properties.


Express Clear

Both lateral drains and sewers were once also the responsibility of the homeowner, but now the vast majority are in the keep of local water companies. However, you remain accountable for any faults with drains within the boundaries of your property and must take steps to remedy any problems that occur.

This is where Express Clear comes in. We operate first-rate drain unblocking, cleaning and repairs to all domestic and commercial customers, including high pressure drain jetting for the best results. Our service is highly versatile, with the resources and skill to handle any situation, and we offer comprehensive aftercare on all jobs to reduce the necessity for repeat callouts.   Be sure to check the Express Clear website for more information about all of our services, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team today for a free and clear quote.


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