Who holds the responsibility for sewer pipes?
When it comes to blocked drains, many property owners are unsure whether it is their responsibility or that of the local authority to fix them. Here at Clearfirst, we can help to establish who is responsible for your drains, giving professional advice so you know where the responsibility lies if your pipes suffer from blockages. It can be difficult to identify any problems in your drains as everything happens underground, so hiring the expertise of a professional will ensure the problem is dealt with correctly.
Our experts at Clearfirst have put together this article to explain who holds the responsibility for sewer pipes, so you have a better understanding of whether it is a private, public or local authority problem.
Types of sewers
If you have noticed that your property has fallen victim to blocked drains, it’s important to establish which sewers belong to whom before arranging any remedial action. A drainage professional will help determine which of the following categories your pipes fall into:
1. Public – these belong to water companies
2. Private – these belong to you
3. Highway drains and road gullies – these are the responsibility of local authorities
As a homeowner, which pipes on my premises are my responsibility?
Private sewers are the responsibility of the homeowner to fix if any problems should arise. Before taking any action, it’s important to establish which pipes are owned by you so you can determine where your responsibility begins and ends. An expert drainage company can clearly identify which drainage pipes belong to you as they are located out of sight:
– Beneath your home
– Under the garden or driveway
– Within the boundary of your property
The moment the pipes stop being your responsibility is when they extend outside the boundary of your property and connect to the pipes of another property.
When does the responsibility lie with a professional water company?
Official water companies are responsible for the large sewers which are normally located under the road or pavement. A change of law on 1 October 2011 shifted ownership of sewers and pipes shared with neighbours, and lateral pipes which connect to the existing sewerage network, to water and sewerage companies. This relieved homeowners of maintenance and repairs, and improved clarity over ownership to prevent any disputes between neighbours.
What belongs to the council?
Your local county council will deal with blocked road drains and gullies which are causing water flooding on the surface of the road or path.
What do I do if my drains are suffering from blockages?
If a public sewer is blocked, a statutory water and sewer company will clear the pipe for you as the responsibility lies with them through ownership. Alternatively, if the problem is in a private drain or sewer, you will need to hire the expertise of an independent drain clearing company to clear your system.
Here at Clearfirst, determining who is responsible for sewer pipes is a common query from our customers, and with a wealth of experience in the industry we can help to establish who is responsible for their drains. For blockages in private drains, we offer thorough drain unblocking and drain cleaning services using specialist techniques, giving you the peace of mind that comes with being in the hands of experts. For further information about any of our drainage services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today – we are always happy to help.