Sewers and Blocked Drains Wirral Explained - Your Responsibilities

March 23, 2018

Many people in the Wirral area still wonder who exactly is responsible for repairs to Blocked Drains Wirral or sewers, as public and private drains interlink underground. Responsibility of keeping the sewers and drains running is therefore a joint effort between you, the water company and the local authority.

Sewers and Drains

For a lot of people, there is still a bit of confusion as to what a sewer exactly is, and what the difference between a sewer and a drain. There are normally two types of drain serving a property.


A drain is the pipes in a private property. The drainage system runs the waste water from your property and into the lateral drain beyond the boundaries of your property. A drain only serves one property.

Lateral Drains

The lateral drains are the pipes that connect your own private drain pipes to the sewers. This is often on under the public pavement outside of your property. A lateral drain serves several properties.


A sewer is a large pipe that collects and transports large amounts of waste and water into the main sewer, where all the waste water gets transported to sewage processing which includes filtering and treatment and then eventually back into a body of water.  Most sewers are publicly owned by the local authorities/councils but are maintained by water companies. Some sewers can be private. A sewer serves many properties or entire areas.

Sewers and Drains Explained: When You’re Responsible

You are legally responsible for maintaining the drains inside the boundaries of your property. You are free to choose how to maintain your drains or repair your Blocked Drains Wirral, and which company will carry out this work. In some cases some of the drainage network is located in a property with multiple houses, for instance a block of flats. In this case all owners who have a stake in the building are mutually responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the drains.

The Responsibility of the Water Company

Water Companies, throughout the UK, are often responsible for most sewer works and repairs. In the Wirral and throughout the North West, the water company are responsible for the drains and sewers outside your house. If you have any problems with your sewer, you should contact your water company directly. If you have a private sewer however, you can also request the water company to adopt your private sewer. In many cases, this can solve problems for both sides, as you do not have to pay for repairs, and the water company will be able to gain greater control over the sewage system in the area, which will make it easier to carry out works.

The Responsibility of the Local Authorities 

In some cases, the local council can order you to carry out works, if you have a drain that could lead to a blockage or is causing other residents, the environment or the public problems. They can also order you to carry out works on your private sewer, if this has not been maintained properly.

Are you having some issues with Blocked Drains Wirral? Call RPDNW today for more information on how we can help you with drainage and sewage issues.


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