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Blocked drain unblocking

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.

sewer ownership Bournemouth

Detached houses

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).

  • How can you tell if you have a shared drain?

    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, www.southwestwater.co.uk, www.wessexwater.co.uk or www.southernwater.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.

  • What about private sewers?

    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. Further information There is more detailed information about water and sewerage on the OFWAT website www.ofwat.gov.uk

We can help

If you think you may have one of these problems then give us a call today on 01256 445200 for some Free Advice or to arrange a visit from our Trained drain unblocking engineers with No Callout Charge