So you’ve got a blocked drain in the area but no one knows whose job it is to sort out. It’s not anyone’s favourite thing to take care of whether you’re unblocking the drain yourself or not.
It can end up being a confusing matter, trying to determine whose job it is. It all depends on where the problem is located. But this is trickier than it sounds.
While blockages can affect a wide area, the source of the problem might be harder to find. This makes it more complicated to determine whose job it is to get the problem fixed.
Different types of drain
Depending on what type of drain or sewer is affected, you may or may not be responsible for fixing it. There are three main types:
Drain – this is a pipe that drains water and waste away from a building
Lateral drain – this is a length of pipe that carries wastewater away from a property. It’s located outside of property boundaries and is usually under public pavements or roads.
Sewer – this collects water and waste from a number of drains from different buildings. Most of these and lateral drains are publicly owned but there are still some private ones.
Sewers and lateral drains are mostly in public ownership. This means that they should be maintained by local water companies.
If you come across a problem like a blockage, then you need to contact your local water company. In this case, the water company has the right to enter your property in order to inspect or carry out any repairs if necessary.
Though most sewers are in public ownership, there are some private or unadopted ones too. Private sewers are mostly found on sites with a number of properties like a caravan site or a block of flats. Anyone who owns properties here are jointly responsible for any cost of repairs.
When you’re responsible
If the problem drains are located inside the boundaries of a property that you own, you will have to pay for any repair work. You are free to choose any company to do this. If you’ve got insurance, this might be able to cover any repair work on private drains.
If your drains are found to be problematic and need to be replaced, your local authority environmental health department can order you to carry out any necessary work if they think your drains are causing a blockage.
If you don’t carry out the repairs, they can arrange for the work to be done but will then charge you for it.
Finding the problem
If the local authority or local water companies have determined that the drains are your responsibility then you’re going to have to get them inspected and fixed.
In these instances, it’s worth getting in touch with a professional drainage company who can conduct a drain survey to pinpoint the source of the problem and then fix it for you.
If you don’t act on these problems this may result in health and safety risks as well as disputes with the local authorities or your neighbours.
In order to make sure the job is done quickly and efficiently, you need to call the right people. Make sure that whoever you call out to do the work is registered and accredited. You don’t want to take any chances when it comes to drains and sewers.
If you’ve got a blocked drain you’d like us to take a look at or need any other advice, you can call our emergency response line on 0151 522 0736.