Repair And Cleaning Of Drains and Sewers


A blocked or faulty drain and/or sewer can be daunting. This is especially so if you are not sure how to begin to solve the problem. Who is responsible for repair and cleaning of drains and sewers? Should the city be responsible? Or should the homeowner be responsible for the maintenance and repairs thereof?

What Is The Difference Between A Sewer And Drain?

A drain is a pipe that is responsible for draining water and waste from a building and other buildings on the same property such as a garage, for example. A lateral drain, on the other hand, is a stretched length of pipe, which is responsible for carrying waste-water away from your property. The lateral drain is not your responsibility as it is positioned outside your property boundary and is often positioned under a public pavement or road. A sewer collects water and waste from the drains of a number of buildings. More often than not they are publicly owned as should therefore be maintained your water company. Though, there are still some sewers, which are privately owned.

Who is Responsible?

Now the answer as to who is responsible is, it depends.

  • There are many pipes, drains, and connections running underground on your property. If you were to commence building work without working with correct experts and you end up causing damage to the sewer system on your property, you are responsible.
  • You are responsible for the pipes, gutters and drains in and around your home. This includes the drains from your property up to your boundary. If you have a problem relating to anything sewer or drain on your property you will have to employ the services of a registered and qualified plumber.
  • Governmental divisions, on the other hand, are responsible for the big public sewers that take sewage and rainwater run-off to wastewater treatment facilities.
  • They are also responsible for the pipes that are located from your property’s boundary that eventually leads up to the public sewer. There are shared drains from various properties before it all meets up at the main public sewer. If you suspect that the problem is not on your property and, in fact, is a municipal problem, you can contact them to conduct an inspection.

You should call your city, if you are having odor or blockage issues with road gullies which are small grate-covered openings found at the edge of the road; of if your see the sewage backing up near your property. It is best to know who is responsible for a drain or sewer before you spend money on maintenance and repairs.