A drain is a pipe which serves just your own property. As of 1 October 2011, new Government legislation means that water companies in England and Wales are now responsible for the ownership and maintenance of many sewer pipes, which were previously the responsibility of homes, businesses and the council.
The change in law is designed to make things fairer for customers, by removing some of the burden of ownership from them, and protecting them from surprise repair bills. Under the new legislation, households and businesses are only responsible for the private drainage pipe which is unique to their property, and are no longer responsible for pipes which are shared with neighbours, or which run beyond their property boundary.
Prior to these changes the council has provided advice to householders and where necessary, taken action to ensure blockages are removed. The council may become involved in issues involving a private drain, however, it is still the responsibility of the householder to rectify any problems.
From the 1 October 2011 United Utilities are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of sewers shared by more than 1 property or drains that extend beyond your boundary.
If a blockage is suspected please call United Utilities on 08457 462200 or visit the United Utilities private sewers (external link) web page.