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What to do if you have a blocked drain

We appreciate the frustration of a drain blockage, particularly if it stops you from using your household facilities as normal. It might be that the blockage has occurred on our public sewer network, in which case we can help. However, sometimes blockages occur on your own private drain, so you may have to hire a plumber to unblock it. Alternatively, we may be able to clear your private blockage at a cost.  

Pipe and drain responsibility

The responsibility for the maintenance of pipes and drains is split between us – the water company – and home-owners. As a home-owner, you are responsible for most pipes and drains within your property boundary. If you rent your home, you should contact you landlord or letting agent to resolve issues involving pipes and drains as it will be their responsibility if the problem is on private land.

Blockage in our public sewer network

If there is a blockage in our public sewerage network that’s affecting your property, please report the problem to us so we can get it fixed as soon as possible.

You can contact us by webchat, or by calling us on 0800 783 4444. We’re here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What we can do to help

We’ll send someone out to clear the blockage. This typically involves lifting manholes nearby to assess the issue and identify the source.

Our experts will then use rods and jet hoses to break down and clear the blockage. Once the blockage is clear, the sewers and drains should flow freely again, however we can’t guarantee that the blockage will never happen again.

If the same sewer has blocks again, let us know and we can send a camera down it to check the condition of the pipes in sections that we can’t access from the manhole.

How we can clear a blockage in your private drain

Your private drains are your responsibility to maintain. However, if we are called out to investigate a blockage and find the cause to be in a private drain, we can clear the blockage the same day at a cost of £114.

We won’t be able to come back to carry out the service at a future date, so it’s worth taking some time to understand costs from other providers, so you can make an informed decision at the time.

How to avoid blocked drains

Blockages can happen for a variety of reasons, but often it can be due to a build-up of fat, oil and grease or wet wipes and sanitary products in the sewer.

There are steps you can take to help avoid blockages due to kitchen and bathroom waste.

If left to develop, blockages in drains can lead to sewer flooding.