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Advice on blockages and sewer flooding


Blockages in household pipes can be particularly nasty, stopping wastewater from leaving your property. 

Your drains

All the toilets, sinks, baths and showers in your home empty into the same waste pipe where it flows into the sewers and on to our treatment works. This water is treated, cleaned and returned to local rivers and streams.

Signs of a blockage

Blockages in pipes can be nasty, stopping waste from leaving your property. You may have a blockage if:

  • You find it difficult to flush your toilet

  • Your sink or bath empties very slowly

  • You notice a bad smell coming from your drains.

When wastewater is unable to flow away it can come back up from the toilet or sink, flooding your home.

Top tips to keep your drains flowing

  • Bin it – don’t block it: Wrap up sanitary items, nappies, wipes and condoms and put them in the bin

  • Leave leftover cooking oil, fat and food to cool and put it in the bin

  • Chemicals, solvents, engine oil and paint should be taken to your local refuse or recycling site

  • Medicines, tablets, syringes and needles should be taken to your pharmacist, hospital or health authority for safe disposal.


What to do if there is a blockage

We repair and clean the pipes that carry waste water from your street to our treatment works. Property owners are responsible for the pipes in the homes and the ones connecting to our sewers.

Who is responsible?



A typical property connected to the sewer. We are responsible for blockages in the main sewer pipe (pink) and customers are responsible for the pipes up to the property boundary (green).

Semi-detached or terraced

In some cases you might share a pipe with your neighbour. In that case we are responsible for the shared section (pink) and homeowners are responsible for their own connecting pipes (green).


If you live in a block of flats, we are responsible for pipes from the property boundary (pink) and management company or owners are responsible for internal and connecting pipes (green).

A brief summary

It may be the property owner’s responsibility if:

  • Only one home is experiencing problems
  • The property doesn’t share a drain with any other property
  • There is no other flooding in the local area.

It may be our responsibility if we have public sewers in the area and at least one of the following applies:

  • The problem is outside your property boundary
  • More than one property is experiencing problems

How we can help?

When you call us to report a blockage, we’ll let you know when we will be able to get to you. Depending on the severity of the blockage, this could range from one to 24 hours.

If we find a blockage is within our pipes, we will clear it for free.

When we come out to look at a blockage:

  • We will confirm if the pipe belongs to us
  • If the blockage is in your pipe, we may be able to offer a private blockage clearance service. This involves an engineer spending up to an hour investigating and clearing a blockage.  
  • The work is guaranteed for seven days, unless there is evidence of misuse.







































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