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Sewerage companies are responsible for the public sewers. In most cases these are in roads or public open spaces but in certain circumstances they may run through private gardens. Sewerage companies can access these sewers for maintenance work. If any work is carried out by a company on sewers on your land, the company must follow a code of practice.

The drains and any private sewers which carry household waste are normally the householder's (or the landlord's) responsibility. This applies whether they are within the property boundary or beyond the property boundary and up to the point they connect with the public sewers. If you are unsure whether a particular pipe is a public or private sewer, you should contact the sewerage company. Sewerage companies are required to maintain accurate maps of their sewers and make them available for inspection by the public.

The Government announced that from October 2011, responsibility for most private sewers would transfer to the sewerage companies. Find out more about the transfer of private sewers here.

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