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Drains, Private Sewers or Public Sewers

Responsibility for the maintenance of:

  • drains
  • private sewers
  • public sewers

all depends on where the blockage or defect is.

  • drains usually serve a single property. If you own the property, you are responsible for the maintenance of drains on the property
  • public sewers serve two or more properties built before October 1937. These usually include the large 'main' sewers that run along the centre of the roads into which individual drains and both private and public sewers run
  • private sewers serve two or more properties built after 1st October 1937. The owners of each of the properties are responsible for the maintenance of private sewers on their properties

Our environmental protection team has responsibility for ensuring that owners properly maintain their drains and private sewers.

Anglian Water

Anglian Water is responsible for the maintenance, repair of public sewers, and hold records of where all the public sewers are within the borough.

Anglian Water can be contacted at:

Anglian Water Services Ltd
Development Engineering Department
Colchester Sewage Treatment Works
Haven Road
Colchester
Essex CO2 8HT

Tel: 08457 145145

Drain and Sewer Problems

  • if a private sewer blocks speak to the owners of the other properties. You will need  to reach an agreement to, jointly, employ someone to clear or repair it
  • if you and your neighbours can't agree where the problem is you will need to contact our environmental protection team. They will then arrange for an environmental health officer to visit the site. They will investigate the cause of the blockage and decide who is responsible for clearing or repairing the sewer. They may then serve a formal notice on the relevant owners which require them to clear the sewer or carry out repairs. Failure to do this will result in the work being carried out by us. Each of the owners will then be sent an invoice for their part of the bill
  • you are responsible for the drain or sewer on your property right up to the point where the drain or private sewer joins a public sewer. This is irrespective of the ownership of any land or highway under which it may run or the location of your own properties boundary
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