From October 2011, the water and sewerage companies (see below) became responsible for the private sewers and lateral drains. There are some exceptions, so it's best to check with your water company if you are at all unsure.
The change meant you are now only responsible for the drainage pipe which serves your own property. Sewer pipes which are shared by more than one property, or run beyond your property boundary, are your water authorities responsibility. The new rules will stop you being charged for costly repairs for issues that aren't your fault.
As well as the private drains serving a single home or business within the boundary of the property, there are a few other types of pipes that are not covered by the Regulations and will remain the responsibility of the current owners after 1 October 2011. These are:
- Water supply pipes within your property boundary
- Existing surface water sewers that drain directly to watercourses
- Privately owned sewage treatment works and pipes connected to them
- Privately owned septic tanks and cesspits (including all associated pipes even if serving more than one property)
- Private pumping stations
We will no longer attend to blockages in private drains.
Private customers should contact their Water Authority to determine if the blockage is in the public sewer or private drain, even if located within the boundary of their property. If the Water Authority determines that the problem is in the private drain then you will need to arrange and pay for a private contractor to attend. We will not recommend specific contractors, so we would advise you to look through the relevant business directories.
Council Owned Properties
As a responsible landlord, we will continue to deal with blockages in our properties and these should be reported to us immediately. If we suspect the blockage lies in a public sewer we will contact the Water Authority otherwise we will attend to the blockage ourselves.