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:
Surface water on roads, highways and pavementsBlocked road drains / gullies and overgrown verges
Local Council Highways Department
Devon County Council Highways
Cornwall County Council Highways
Dorset County Council Highways
|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|
|Cesspits/ septic tanks, toilets or internal drains||Homeowner|
To help prevent sewers blocking have a look at our top tips.