Public Drains to be Water Company Responsibility

Posted: 1st August 2011

Many homeowners know, to their cost, that the drains on their property are their responsibility, not that of their local water company. Owners of properties with septic systems will usually know this from the time they acquire the property – those connected to mains drainage often discover this for the first time when there is a problem with their drain.pipes in ditch
Although problems with drains are an insurable risk, few homeowners take out such insurance. Worse still, it is often difficult, where a drain crosses adjacent property, to ascertain who is responsible for what. The Government therefore proposes to transfer responsibility for most drains to the water company that provides the local public drainage.
It is expected that this change will come into effect in October and the increased cost will be handed on in the form of higher water rates. However, drains whic h are exclusively for one property will remain the responsibility of the occupier of that property within the boundary of the property.
How this works is probably best illustrated by looking at the following ‘before and after’ diagram.
If you have queries about your rights and responsibilities as an occupier of property, contact us for advice.