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Dealing with unpleasant smells at your property

Blockages in drains and sewers can cause bad or unpleasant smells at your property. Responsibility for keeping pipes and drains clear is shared between home-owners and us, the water company.

What might have caused the smell

Bad smells from drains and sewers can be caused by several things. Most often, it is down to:

  • A sewer blockage
  • A defective sewer
  • A build-up of fat, oil and grease in the pipework
  • A nearby sewage treatment works


What to do about it

If you have a bad smell at your property, you will need to report the issue to us. You can do this on our website, through web chat, or by calling us on 0800 783 4444. You can contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

What we will do

Once you have reported the problem, we will begin investigating the smell within 5 days.

Our first step will be to send a member of our team out to your property for try and discover the root cause.

If it’s a blockage that’s causing the smell, we’ll be able to clear it if it’s in our public sewer network. We will advise you about what to do if the blockage is in your private drain.

If it’s not a blockage, we’ll need to continue our investigations.

In the meantime, a member of our team will call you to understand more about the frequency of the smell and ask you to keep a log of when and where the smell occurs. This will help us to establish what we do next.

We may need access to your property to complete our investigations, so please let us know about anything that might prevent access when we return.