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Drains and sewers

Information is provided on the ownership and responsibilities for foul water sewers and drains.

The issues surrounding the ownership of sewers and drains have been the subject of several government reviews and public consultations. In 2008 the Government decided that the fairest and best solution was to transfer ownership of private sewers to the wastewater companies. The Government has introduced changes which has transferred private sewers that connect to the public sewerage system to the water and sewerage companies. The new Regulations came into force on 1 July 2011, and the transfer took place on 1 October 2011.

The changes & new arrangements

Prior to the changes, many householders had responsibility for pipework which lay outside of their property boundary; whether this was beneath pavements and roads or within neighbouring properties. If problems occurred then it was down to the owner to arrange to have it fixed and pay for the repairs as well as sorting out access. Where the pipes were shared and there were multiple owners they all had a joint liability but had to decide and agree who pays for what. The new changes mean that the sections of sewers and pipes you share with your neighbours, and pipes outside your property boundary which connect to the existing sewer network will now be in the ownership and responsibility of Anglian Water. You will still remain liable for the drain within your property boundary. A drain is a pipe which serves one property.

Septic tanks, cesspools and private treatment plants are not subject to transfer and remain in private ownership, as do the pipes that drain into them.

Further information on the responsibility for drains and sewers can be obtained by contacting Anglian Water

If you have any concerns regarding drainage problems or the responsibility for sewers and drains please contact:

Anglian Water, Customer Services, PO Box 770, Lincoln, LN5 7WX

Tel: 08457 145145