Private property

Pipes and equipment that will not be the responsibility of United Utilities or the local authority include:

  • Water supply pipes within your property boundary.
  • Existing surface water sewers that do not drain to a public sewer.
  • Privately owned sewage treatment works and pipes connected to them.
  • Privately owned septic tanks and cesspits.

Responsibility for the clearance of blockages and repairs to private drains lies with the property owner. If you cannot clear the blockage yourself, you should contact a specialist drainage contractor or plumber. Property owners are responsible for the dealing with water logging problems and groundwater in cellars.

Our drainage officers may be able to help investigate the source of water, but only if United Utilities have already investigated the issue and ruled out the possibility of leakage from sewers and water mains.

Landowners are responsible for the drainage of their own land, which means that they must accept dealing with natural flows from adjacent higher land. It is not an offence to let water run off onto nearby land unless the flow has been artificially concentrated in a particular place. For more information on land ownership you can visit the Land Registry website.

We do not become involved in private disputes of this nature. If you have problems you may need private legal advice. If you are a tenant in rented accommodation then you should contact your landlord or housing association.

If you are having difficulties with a defective sewer then you must report the issue to United Utilities.