Sewers and Drains
A drain is a pipe,including manhole covers, pipes and ditches, that conveys waste away from one premises only. It is the responsibility of the owner/occupier of that premises to clean and maintain/repair the drain. That responsibility does not simply cease at the ground-level boundary of the property. It remains that person's responsibility until either another property connects into that drain (at which point it becomes a private sewer) or the drain discharges into another pipe for which someone else is responsible (e.g. Severn Trent Water Plc in the case of a public sewer).
A sewer is a pipe, including manholes and covers, which convey waste from two or more separate premises.
Public sewers are generally (but not necessarily) the larger sewers that run under the roads. These are the responsibility of Severn Trent Water Plc. The definition of a public sewer is set out in various Acts of Parliament dating back to 1875.
A "private sewer" is any sewer, which is not a "public sewer". Many houses in the Borough, especially those on estates built in the last 40 years, are served by private sewers. By definition private sewers must convey effluent from at least 2 separate premises.
Responsibility to clean, maintain and repair such sewers lies jointly with the owners/occupiers of those properties, (only those upstream of the point where the blockage or defect occurs). That responsibility does not simply cease at the ground-level boundary of the property. It remains the joint responsibility of the owner/occupier of all premises served by that sewer until it discharges into another pipe for which someone else is responsible (e.g. Severn Trent Water the case of a public sewer).
Page Last Updated: 20/09/2011