Blocked _ Faulty Drainage

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Blocked _ Faulty Drainage Powered By Docstoc
					Private Drainage Laws –
Blocked &
Faulty Drainage
Drainage law is often                             A drain is a single pipe, which removes
                                                  sewage and/or rainwater from one premise
confusing, but the                                and any associated buildings. A drain is still a
                                                  drain even if it goes past the boundary of your
following is a guide to                           property until it joins a sewer.
who is responsible.                               A sewer is a pipe taking sewage and/or
                                                  rainwater from two or more premises. Sewers
                              Did you know
                                                  may be either Public or Private (see below). All
                              you are
                                                  public sewers are the responsibility of the local
                              responsible for
                                                  water company, Northumbrian Water.
                              the
                              maintenance,        A public sewer carries waste from two or more
                              clearing and        properties built before 1st October 1937 (with
                              repair of your      exceptions), however some sewers built after
                              sewer &             that date may have been adopted by the
                              drainage system     water company. They are usually found under
                              from your           highways but some public sewers can be
                              property to         found in the grounds of private houses.
where it connects to the public sewer owned
by Northumbrian Water. This may include not       A private sewer is a sewer constructed after
only drains on your property but also drains      1st October 1937. A private sewer is normally
that lead from your property under your           the joint responsibility of every household that
garden, neighbour’s property, paths and roads.    feeds into it. It may still be a private sewer
(Ignore boundaries such as fences and walls       under the public highway, path and or
when drainage is involved) If a drain is shared   adjacent properties until it joins the public
between several houses it is the responsibility   sewer.
of all owners of the properties that drain
through that part of the system.                  A blockage or fault is the
                                                  responsibility of all households
Knowing who is responsible for maintaining
and clearing blocked drains and sewers is one
                                                  from the blockage upstream of the
of the hardest parts of drainage work. It is      problem.
important to understand the different types of
‘pipework’, because the responsibilities are      From time to time things can go wrong. The
different with each type.                         diagrams on the next page give a simple
                                                  overview of various types of drainage systems.
                                                  The coloured lines indicate which property or
                                                  properties are responsible for which part of
                                                  the system.
Direct System
With the single or direct system each property is responsible
for their own individual drain system up to the connection
with the main public sewer.


Link System
The other two diagrams are the most common type of
drainage systems known as a link system. This is when
drains from several properties link together before entering a
public or private sewer system.

The local water company has adopted and is responsible for
sewer systems that were built before 1st October 1937.
After that date link system drains usually run into what is
known as a private sewer before connecting to the public
sewer.

If there is a fault or a blockage on a link system between the
public sewer and your property, it is the responsibility of
every household which drains into the system, whether the
fault is on your land or not, from the fault back up stream.
See diagram below.

If there is a fault in the
public sewer it is the
responsibility of the local
water company,
Northumbrian Water.

If there was a blockage
or a fault between
property C and D as in
the diagram above, the
law states that it is the
responsibility of all the
households from the
blockage up stream.
The properties
responsible in this case
would be properties A,
B and C as they all run
into the fault. Property D is not involved as his property runs
free. See diagram above.


If you would like further information please
contact us on 01325 388304
Or email Housing.renewal@darlington.gov.uk
Private Drainage                                              Why does my council tax not cover
                                                              me for the upkeep of drains?
Frequently asked questions.                                   The local authority do not own any drains or sewers,
                                                              except those serving their own premises. They are
                                                              responsible for highway drainage but this is separate from
Will Darlington Borough Council clear                         drainage of buildings
blocked drains?
Darlington Borough Council do not provide a drain
            I am still not sure if I am responsible
clearing service to private or commercial premises. You
      for what is wrong, can you help?
can contact a private drainage company who will come

                                                              We will be happy to advise you as to your legal
and clear the blockage. Many companies advertise in the

                                                              responsibilities and can visit you to assess the problem.
yellow pages. You should always check their charges and

what exactly they will do before authorising them to do

the work.
                                                    Can I contact you to request help or
Council tenants should contact Customer Services on
          advice?
01325 388542.
                                                We will be happy to advise you as to your legal
Housing association tenants and private tenants should
       responsibilities and can visit you to assess the problem if
contact their landlord. 
                                     required.

Will Darlington Borough Council                               How to reduce the possibility of
repair faulty drains?                                         further blockages
Darlington Borough Council do not provide a drain repair      •	 Regularly flush basin/bath/shower pipework with
service to private or commercial premises. You can contact       disinfectant to clear soap residue
a private drainage company who will come and repair the       •	 Keep objects such as combs, bottles, toys away from
fault. Many companies advertise in the yellow pages. You         where they could fall into the toilet.
should always check their charges and what exactly they       •	 Don't flush away disposable items such as nappies,
will do before authorising them to do the work.                  baby wipes, condoms,cleaning wipes, and sanitary
Council tenants should contact Customer Services on              towels.
01325 388542                                                  •	 Keep drain grids free of leaves, moss and regularly wash
Housing association tenants and private tenants should           down with hot water and disinfectant.
contact their landlord.                                       •	 Do not dispose of food scraps down the kitchen sink.
                                                                 Pull scraps out of the plug hole, don't poke through.
I have established a blockage on a                            •	 Try to avoid disposing of cooking fat down the drain. If
private sewer serving my property                                there's no alternative, mix with very hot water and
                                                                 plenty of detergent.
and my neighbors, what can I do?
                                                              •	 Don't overdo the use of soap powder when using your
It is the joint responsibility of you and your neighbors to
                                                                 washing machine.
clear the blockage regardless of whose land the blockage
is on. You must therefore jointly arrange to have the         Sewers are not the place for:
sewer cleared and agree how you share the costs.              •	 Unwanted oil and grease - they may be liquid in a
                                                                 warm kitchen but they quickly solidify and cause
My neighbour is refusing to repair or                            blockages when they enter a cold sewer.
                                                              •	 Medical supplies - colostomy bags, bandages,
unblock a drain what can I do?                                   incontinence pads, syringes, medicines.
Unfortunately, the only way costs can be shared out, if
                                                              •	 Chemicals - other than those designed for use in
neighbours will not agree to pay their share, is by the
                                                                 kitchens and drains.
council serving a legal notice on all persons responsible.
The notice has to give persons at least 48 hours to clear     Instead you should:
the blockage before we clear it ourselves and all parties     •	 Wait until cooking fat solidifies and then put it into a
will be charged for the work plus our costs. This will be        container and place in the bin.
more expensive than getting the repairs completed             •	 Pour cooking and engine oil into a strong container
yourself.                                                        before disposal.
                                                              •	 Keep a separate bin for bathroom waste such as cotton
Why am I responsible for drainage                                buds, cotton wool and packaging from sanitary and
problems that are not on my land?                                other bathroom products.
Unfortunately, drainage law is not dependent on who
owns the land which the problem is on. It depends upon        How can I contact you?
who drains into the private sewer upstream of the             If you would like further information please contact us
blockage or defect. If your drainage waste goes through       on 01325 388304
that pipe you may be partly responsible, irrespective of      Or email Housing.renewal@darlington.gov.uk
where the problem is.

				
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