Your sewerage explained

Do you know the difference between sewage and sewerage? Sewerage is the system of sewers that transport wastewater (sewage) around.

Other words that are used commonly in everyday life, like 'drains' and 'sewer', can have very specific meanings in the water industry when it comes to pipe ownership. To help with any confusion, we've put together a simple explanation of the sections of pipe that make up your sewerage.


Sewers are pipes which carry waste from more than one property. Sewers are our responsibility to look after.


Drains are pipes which carry waste from a single property to the sewer. Homeowners own the section of drains that serve their property and lies within their land.

Lateral drains

Drains become lateral drains when they extend beyond the boundary of the property they serve. These sections of the pipe are owned by us and we're responsible for looking after them.

What are my responsibilities?

In looking after your drain, you would be responsible for:

  • Unblocking the pipe, if the cause of the blockage is found there
  • Replacing any worn or damaged pipework
  • Working with those you share your drain with to negotiate costs of repairs

If you experience any issues with your sewerage, please contact us in the first instance on 0344 346 2020, and we’ll look into the cause for free. Or, you can report the problem online.

Is your sewerage connected right?

A misconnection is where a property’s wastewater is connected into the surface water network, or surface water drainage is connected to the foul sewer network.

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Finding out where my sewerage is

The best place to find the route of your wastewater pipe is in the documents you received when you bought your property. They will outline all the responsibilities covered under your ownership, including pipework.

You can also call us on 0344 346 2020 and we’ll be able to take a look and advise you.  

What sewerage can look like underground

Diagram showing that homeowners own the wastewater pipe from their home to the boundary of their property

Need a plumber?

We’ve put together a handy list of industry approved plumbers so that you can choose one you can trust.

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