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Who is Responsible For Drain Maintenance?

Whether your sewer is blocked or your drains are backed up it is an unpleasant and troublesome problem to fall victim of. It’s obviously not a nice job for anyone to have to sort the problem out and one of the main controversial points which arise is centred on whose duty it is to carry out the maintenance. Who is responsible for cleaning and maintaining your drains, is it the local water authorities or your own?

There are several types of drains on and around your property and each performs a different function. The three main kinds of drains are private drains, lateral drains and sewers. A private drain is on your property and takes waste water away, a lateral drain takes waste water away but is outside your boundaries and a sewer collects the waste water of several homes together. Given this you can see below who is responsible for each drain type:


Private Drains

By the very definition of a private drain on your land being your drain you can probably guess who the responsibility lies with when it comes to the maintenance issue. It is your duty to perform the upkeep and cleaning of your private drains but you can always call in the professional drain cleaners to handle the task for you if you’re ever unsure how to go about unblocking or cleaning a drain. You can’t ignore any problems in your private drains as it may affect others, at this point the local authorities can demand you carry the work out and will even go as far as to have the work carried out for you, posting you the bill for the services should the issue drag on.


Lateral Drains

These drains are located outside the boundaries of your property so although they carry water away from your home which has originated inside you boundaries it is not your duty to see to their maintenance and upkeep. It is the duty of the local water and sewer company, and you should contact them in the event that your lateral drains require repairs or maintenance. It is of importance to your property and the surrounding properties that issues are resolved by the local authorities as quickly as possible so do not hesitate to contact them.



Sewers are the larger drains which connect with all the lateral drains in your street and carry the waste water away of all the homes in that area away to treatment facilities. Because they are located outside of your property – and everyone else’s – this means they are publically owned, leaving the onus for cleaning, maintenance and repairs of them firmly in the hands of the local water and sewage authorities.

Aside from these main types of drains, if you own a cesspool or septic tank then these are your responsibility to maintain. These need to be kept firmly in check because they pose serious environmental hazards if anything should go wrong with them.

To find out more about sewage and drainage services in central London and how a professional company can help you keep your drains in top condition then contact 1st Call Drain Clearance today. Remember, if the drains or pipes are located within the boundaries of your property then it is your duty to maintain them!


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