If your property is connected to a mains sewer it will initially drain through a private drain. The private drain will normally remain your responsibility until your property boundary or until someone else’s drain connects into it.
United Utilities are responsible for the mains sewerage network in this area, that is public drains serving more than one property or outside your property boundary.
In rural areas without mains sewers most properties drain to septic tanks.
The term 'septic tank' is used to describe a number of different types of sewerage treatment system, but all of these require regular maintenance.
How to find out if you have a septic tank
In most situations the title deeds for a property will indicate whether the property drains to a septic tank. Your neighbours may also have knowledge of how your own property is drained.
If you live in a rural area and do not pay Sewerage Charges as part of your Water Rates you will almost certainly drain to a septic tank.
You can also contact the Water Company, United Utilities, who hold records of all main sewers in the area. Telephone: 0845 602 0406.
Responsibilities of the property owners
If your property drains to a septic tank, you are responsible for the tank, together with any soakaway or outlet from the tank.
In law, the responsibility for emptying and maintaining septic tanks is divided equally between the properties connected to them, unless legal documentation exists to prove otherwise.
The ownership of land does not alter the responsibility for septic tanks, or their outlets, and many home owners/occupiers will be responsible for septic tanks that lie on, or drain under, a neighbours land.
Contact our Public Protection team if you are experiencing problems with drainage from someone else's property.