Public and private sewers

Sewerage companies’ responsibilities

Sewerage companies are responsible for the public sewers. These are usually in roads or public open spaces, but may run through private gardens. The sewerage company has a right of access to these sewers for maintenance. If the company carries out work on sewers on your land they must follow a code of practice, which is available from the company.

Property owner’s responsibilities

The drains and any private sewers which carry household waste are normally the householder’s (or the landlord’s) responsibility. This applies up to the point they connect with the public sewers. Since 1 October 2011 (following the transfer of private sewers), this is usually at the boundary of the property. The diagram below shows an example of the responsibilities of householders and sewerage companies.



Local authorities’ responsibilities

Local authorities function as landlords for council houses and are responsible for highways drainage, including gullies, on the roads they maintain.

Highways Agency’s responsibilities

In England, the Highways Agency is responsible for highways drainage on the trunk roads and motorways they maintain.