Your cookie settings can be changed at any time through your browser settings. To find out more see our cookies page.
Government legislation was introduced which affected the ownership and responsibilities of private drainage. All private sewers and lateral drains have transferred ownership to the statutory undertaker (water company), in our region this is United Utilities.
As a home owner you are still responsible for any drain serving only your property within your boundary. If you have a blocked or damaged drain, then your options will be to either contact a drainage company or to contact your home insurance company, as you may be covered under your buildings insurance policy.
United Utilities will be responsible for any shared drainage whether it falls within your boundary or not. If you are experiencing problems with shared drainage you will need to inform Untied Utilities on 0845 746 2200 or visit the United Utilities website.
United Utilities will not be transferring ownership for private drainage which is served by a septic tank, whether it be shared or otherwise, this will remain as private drainage, and responsibility for the upkeep of this drainage rests with those properties who benefit from it. If you have issues with your septic tank or the drainage connected to it you will need to contact a drainage company or your home insurance provider.
We have powers to intervene where there is a defect in a private drain which is not being dealt with by those responsible. We can serve legal notices and carry out works in default if necessary, in some cases CCTV surveys of the pipes are required to determine the extent of the problem or defect.
In such cases we will not only charge for the cost of works but will also recover administration costs, therefore this method of actioning works should be considered by the home-owners as a last resort.
In order to reduce the number of blockages that occur in the first place, care should be taken with what items are actually pushed, poured or flushed down a drain or sewer. The following items should never be put down a drain:
These are designed to take surface water from roads and back streets. They are not designed to take foul water. Any problems relating to these drains, i.e. that they are blocked, overflowing or giving off odours, should be reported to the Highways department at Lancashire County Council.
Polluted ditches or watercourses should be reported to the Environment Agency incident desk on 0800 807060 (Freephone, 24 hour service). For more information on the environment agency visit their website.