When it comes to drain maintenance and unblocking, many people face a dilemma: is it their responsibility to rectify the issue or the responsibility of the local water company? As there are many pipes, drains and sewers interconnected in and around a household, it is understandable that drain responsibilities can often become a cause for confusion. Knowing when it is your responsibility to maintain, repair or unblock a drain or when it is the water company’s responsibility can save you time and money.
Private drains are the drains connected directly within your house and up to your property’s boundary. If one of these drains becomes blocked, needs repairing or requires general maintenance then it is your responsibility to rectify the problem. A private drain only serves you.
At JET2CLEAR, we can help you identify where the problem is located and resolve your drainage issue or refer you to the local water company if the problem is with a sewer or shared asset.
Things become a bit more complicated when your private drain connects with several of your neighbours. These are known as shared drains. If the drain is shared with several other properties before they join a public sewer, then it becomes the responsibility of the water company to rectify any problems that occur. A shared drain will run from left to right along a full row of terrace houses, taking your waste, and your neighbours, to the public sewer. If you are the homeowner of the property where the drain flow starts, you will be responsible for maintaining it until it connects to the shared drain system – then it becomes the responsibility of the water company to resolve any issues.
Originally, the responsibility to maintain, repair or unblock shared drains lay with the homeowner. However, in 2011 the government transferred ownership to water companies, meaning they are now responsible. If a contractor has been summoned to fix a blockage on a shared drainage system, they should cease work and report the issue to the water company. Click here to find out more