Responsibility for drains


The owners/occupiers of a house are solely responsible for maintaining a private drain, clearing blockages and repairing any faults in it. However they are only able to commission work within the private drain, they have no authority to commission work within the lateral drain without first contacting their Water and Sewerage company, such as Severn Trent, for confirmation on how to proceed.


On 1st October 2011, ownership of most sewers and lateral drains which connect to the public sewer system transferred to the Water and Sewerage companies that cover England and Wales, such as Severn Trent. Therefore they are responsible for the maintenance of these sewers and lateral drains. If blockages or defects occur in these pipes, then you should contact your local water and sewerage Company on one of the numbers shown below.

An important exemption to this relates to pumping stations and their associated rising mains. Responsibility for pumping stations that are eligible for transfer will do so by 1st October 2016.

Sewers and drains that do not connect to a public sewer (because, for example, they drain to a septic tank) have NOT transferred and remain the responsibility of the owner/occupiers of the house. These are referred to as Private sewers and drains.

Last Updated on Wednesday, September 2, 2020