What do I do if I have a blocked drain or sewer?
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What do I do if I have a blocked drain or sewer?

For blockages on a public sewer, please contact us on 0344 346 2020 so that we can confirm responsibility.

We’re responsible for maintaining public sewers and we’ll attend within 4 hours to unblock the sewer, free of charge.

If you are the homeowner, you are responsible for unblocking private sewers and drains. We’d recommend you contact a private contractor and you can find a list of approved contractors on the WaterSafe website by selecting your postcode and then 'Sanitation' within the services section .  If you have an insurance policy that covers this, please check your policy documents first.

We’re responsible for clearing any blockages from the pipes highlighted in brown below. The pipes marked in blue are the responsibility of the homeowner.

You may find that a sewer pipe that you share with your neighbours runs through your land. In this case it would be classed as a public sewer/lateral drain and would be our responsibility.

For tenants, you may want to contact the Landlord to assist.

If the blockage is appearing from the upstairs of your property only, it’s unlikely to be from a public sewer.

The table below shows who is responsible for flooding and blockages:

Location Description Responsibility Contact details

Surface water on roads, highways and pavements

Blocked road drains / gullies and overgrown verges

Local Council Highways Department

Devon County Council Highways 
0345 155 1004

Cornwall County Council Highways
0300 1234 222

Dorset County Council Highways
01305 221020

Environment Agency
0800 80 70 60



Groundwater Waterlogged ground when water pools on the surface

Local Council or Landowner

Rivers and watercourses Water draining into rivers and streams from nearby land

Environment Agency or Landowner

Coastal / Tidal Rough seas, high tides or storm overflows on lower land Environment Agency
Public sewers Manholes and covers Us

Private sewers

Cesspits/ septic tanks, toilets or internal drains Homeowner


To help prevent sewers blocking have a look at our top tips.


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