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Sewers and drains

Water sewerage companies in England and Wales take responsibility for the maintenance and repair of shared sewer pipes. This change took place on 1 October 2011.

The change means you are now only responsible for the drainage pipe which serves your own property. Sewer pipes which are shared by more than one property, or run beyond your property boundary, are United Utilities’ responsibility. The new rules will stop you being charged for costly repairs for issues that aren’t your fault.

If you have a problem related to the above you should contact United Utilities.

As well as the private drains serving a single home or business within the boundary of the property, there are a few other types of pipes that are not covered by the Regulations and will remain the responsibility of the current owners. These are:    

  • Water supply pipes within your property boundary
  • Existing surface water sewers that drain directly to watercourses
  • Privately owned sewage treatment works and pipes connected to them
  • Privately owned septic tanks and cesspits (including all associated pipes even if serving more than one property)
  • Private pumping stations

Who can I contact if I have a problem with my sewers and drains?

In the first instance contact United Utilities.

If you think there is a danger to the environment or human health you can contact our Environmental Protection team using the general enquiry form.

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