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Drainage

Overview

On 1 October 2011 the Government transferred all sewage pipes outside your property boundaries and all sewage pipes which are shared with another property within your boundary to the sewerage/water companies. In Birmingham, the responsible company is Severn Trent Water who can be contacted on 0800 783 4444.


There is detailed information, diagrams and frequently asked questions regarding the transfer on the Severn Trent Water website.

If your property is owned by the Council and you are the only property affected, please contact Housing Repairs.

If your complaint relates to discharges of sewage or other waste water from drains into streams or rivers, this should also be reported to Severn Trent Water.

Essential Information
  • Underground drainage pipes take water, including waste water and rainwater, away from buildings and land.

    Every property has underground pipes connected to it. These are called drains and are usually made of clay or plastic and take sewage or rainwater from just one property. Where the drain passes outside the boundary of the property it is connected to, this becomes a lateral drain. Where a drain or lateral drain from separate properties join together this becomes what is called a sewer.


  • If you are sure that your house is the only one affected, you will need to contact a drain clearing specialist as the homeowner is responsible for any problems which occur to the drain within the boundary of their property.

    If the problem is only affecting your property, but you are sure that the cause is not located within your boundary, then this maybe the responsibility of Severn Trent.


  • If you are sure that more than one property is affected, then it is likely that the problem is in the sewer. Please contact Severn Trent Water on 0800 783 4444 who are responsible for sewers.

  • You can find contractors in Yellow Pages, Thompsons or other trade directories under "drainage and pipe cleaning". Ask before they visit if there is a call out charge, and what that charge is likely to be. Many blockages can be cleared by rodding or by using high pressure jetting. This will usually cost between £50 and £100.

    If the contractor can't clear the blockage and say they need to dig up the pipe, make sure they tell you exactly what they are going to do and how much it will cost before they start the work, so that you are able to get other quotes / estimates for the work.

     

Frequently Asked Questions
    • First, try and find out if anyone else is affected. Have a word with your neighbours. Blockages will often cause waste water to overflow from manhole covers or drainage gullies outside, or cause toilets, baths and sinks to empty slowly.

      If it is not affecting your neighbours it is likely that the blockage is located on the drain and therefore it is the homeowner’s responsibility. Unless you are sure that the problem is on the lateral drain (see previous definition) and in which case you should contact Severn Trent Water.

      If it is affecting your neighbours it is probably a problem on the sewer and you should contact Severn Trent Water on 0800 783 4444.


    • First, try and find out if anyone else is affected. Have a word with your neighbours. Blockages will often cause waste water to overflow from manhole covers or drainage gulleys outside, or cause toilets, baths and sinks to empty slowly.

      If it is affecting your neighbours it is probably a problem on the sewer and you should contact Severn Trent Water on 0800 783 4444.


      If it is not affecting your neighbours it is likely that the blockage is located on the drain and therefore it is the Landlords responsibility. Unless you are sure that the problem is on the lateral drain (see previous definition) and in which case you should contact Severn Trent Water.

      If after contacting your landlord, they are refusing to resolve the problem, you should contact the Private Rented Section of Birmingham City Council on 0121 303 5341 or by clicking this link, for assistance.


    • Drain problems may be covered by your building insurance but it all depends on your policy; it is therefore worth checking with your building insurance company before you call a contractor.

    • Drains legally belong to the owner or occupier of the property they are connected to, until they leave the boundary of the property at which point they become a lateral drain and become the responsibility of Severn Trent Water. 

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.


      Service Specific Enquiry
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