Blocked drain repair
It's important to know whether your blocked drain is your responsibility or whether it is your local water authorities responsibility to unblock. The first thing to identify is whether the blockage is within the boundaries of your property or whether the blocked drain is linked to the shared mains drainage also servicing other properties such as your neighbours.
The diagram below helps identify how different types of property can affect drain responsibility. If your drains are 'shared' then call your local water authority as it's their responsibility.
If your property has no shared drains, then the homeowner is responsible for the drains up to the property boundary (shown in purple), and the local water authority will be responsible for blockages in the main sewer and lateral drains (shown in red).
Terraced or semi-detached houses
If your drains are shared with your neighbours then your local water authority will be responsible for the shared drain as well as the lateral drains (shown in red). Homeowners are are only responsible for the drains on your property that are not shared (shown in purple). For example, if your shared manhole is clear but your toilet or Gully is still blocked then it is your responsibility, as the blocked pipe has not yet met the shared drain.
Flats or apartments
If you live in a block of flats or apartments, the management company are responsible for all drains within the property and out to the property boundary (shown in purple), your local water authority are responsible for drains beyond the boundary (shown in red).
Frequently Asked Questions
The government made changes to the legislation on shared drains in October 2011 transferring responsibility to local water authorities from the homeowner for pipes outside the boundaries of your home or if your neighbours are also using the same pipe running though your boundaries. You are only responsible for your own pipes within the boundaries of your property.
Call your local water authority (www.thameswater.co.uk
) by providing your address and post code the water authority can check on their drain network map to advise whether your blocked drain is a shared drain and if so they will attend free of charge
If you live on an unadopted road and have a private sewer, the homeowner is responsible for the cost of maintaining and repairing it. Even If the sewer serves a number of properties, all the owners are jointly responsible for any costs involved with unblocking or maintaining your drains.
There is more detailed information about water and sewerage on the OFWAT website www.ofwat.gov.uk
Over many years in the industry or engineers have identified several reasons for why your Drains will get blocked and clogged. Some of which are outlined below:
- They can become blocked with sanitary items, wet wipes, nappies or even children's toys being flushed down the toilet, or food, oil and fat being disposed of down the kitchen sink.
- Poor maintenance of outside Gulleys will allow leaves to build up and sometimes enter the drain pipes underground which will cause obstructions and prevent a good flow, often rain water downpipes will block due to leaves and debris from your roof and gutters
- However, drains can also become blocked because of structural damage with displaced joints, cracked or broken drains or even ingress from tree roots clogging up the drain.
- Evidence of Rodents and insects are almost always present in our drains and can sometimes cause debris and mud to infiltrate your manholes and into your drains. It's always advised to check your manholes regularly ensuring no water is holding in your pipes and they're flowing ok
We can help
Any of the above can cause significant blockages which if your unable to unblock yourself or if you require any assistance call today FREE to talk with a professional drainage engineer.
If you think you may have one of these problems then give us a call today on 0800 144 8480 for some Free Advice or to arrange a visit from our Trained Drainage engineers with No Callout Charge