Help and Contact

Sewage Smells policy

Our responsibilities when you notice sewage smells, what we will do to investigate the cause and how we can help you get it resolved. 

What to do if you notice a smell of sewage in your water

Smelling sewage in your water can be concerning and unpleasant, but often it’s nothing to worry about.  

If you can smell sewage, rotten eggs or any other unusual smell from your water or drains, you can use our water quality issue self-diagnosis tool to find out what to do and who to contact to get the problem resolved. 

Contacting us about a bad smell

Once you’ve used the water quality issue self-diagnosis tool to establish where the smell might be coming from and what might be causing it, you may need to contact us to investigate the smell. 

Here’s how we’ll investigate the cause of the smell and what you can expect from us. 

We may ask you to keep a smell diary of the time and date of the smell and when it is worse.  

This way we can keep an eye on our network and make sure we can do everything possible to resolve the issue for you.


We’ll leave a calling card if you’re not at home

If you’re not at home when we visit you to investigate the smell, we’ll leave a calling card which will detail what steps we have taken to try and resolve this for you. 

You’re responsible for issues with private pipes and drains

We are responsible for public pipes and drains. Pipes and drains within a property boundary are the responsibility of the homeowner.

If we find that the smell is caused by is an issue with your pipes or drains, such as a blockage, this would be your responsibility to fix.

What happens if what we thought was a private issue is public

If we have previously advised you that your smell issue is your responsibility, but further investigation shows that it’s a problem with our public drains, you should contact us as soon as possible. 

If we’ve advised you to hire a plumber to clear a blockage on your private pipework that is causing the smell but their investigation shows that the blockage is in our public drain, you should email our customer care team a copy of your receipt and we’ll investigate further. 



If you instruct a plumber to clear a blockage on public drain before we have had the opportunity to inspect it and investigate, we won’t be able to refund you this cost. 

Smells from sewage treatment sites

If you live near a sewage treatment site or a pumping station you may occasionally notice some unpleasant smells.  

The site teams work hard to keep smells to a minimum and continue to invest in odour reduction treatments and technologies. 

During very hot summers and other unusual weather events these plants can smell more often.  

Please contact us if you can smell the local waste treatment site and we’ll arrange for the site to be tested to make sure that it’s operating properly. 

Contact our customer care team 

You can get in touch with our customer care team if you have any questions about how we can help you with bad smells.

Sewer problems terms and conditions 

You can read or download our terms and conditions for resolving sewer problems [PDF].