Sewers and drains explained

What am I responsible for?

There are an awful lot of pipes, drains and sewers hidden away from view inside homes and under the ground – so it’s worth bearing in mind that responsibility for their upkeep is in the hands of different organisations and people – including you!

  • What you're responsible for – the pipes, gutters and drains in and around your home, including the drains from your property up to your boundary – if you have a problem with these, you'll need to call a plumber – but check your insurance first as you may be covered.
  • What United Utilities is responsible for – the big public sewers that take sewage and rainwater run-off to wastewater treatment works, the pipes from your property’s boundary that lead into the public sewer. Many of the shared drains where several property’s drains meet together before they join the public sewer – if you suspect that this is blocked, please contact us.
  • What your local authority is responsible for – road gullies; these are small grate-covered openings at the edge of roads, and are used to drain surface water from the highway. If you’re worried about blockages or smells from these please call your council.

image - sewer pipe responsibility

For more detailed information, please see our Simple Guide to Water Pipes, Drains and Sewers.

Email this page