If you are a private householder
The pipe that carries waste water away from your house is a drain. If this pipe joins a drain from another property it becomes a sewer from that point onwards. There is often an inspection chamber at this point. The drain is the responsibility of the property owner and the sewer is usually Thames Water’s responsibility.
Water and sewerage companies are responsible for private sewers in England and Wales.
If the sewer serving your property is blocked please call Thames Water on 0845 9200 800.
If you are connected to a shared sewer and you are certain it is not Thames Water’s responsibility (for example a pumped system) then you will need to arrange for a private drainage firm to investigate. If the issue is impacting a number of properties we can investigate the problem, although any cost is shared between the properties connected to the sewer (including the cost of any investigation). You can report the problem to us on 020 8583 5555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are some cases where the property owners are still responsible for the section of pipe between the property and the public sewer. If the drain serves only your property then you have sole responsibility to maintain it up to the point where it meets the public sewer. You may need to contact a private drainage firm to unblock it for you. Kitchen gullies and soakaways are also the responsibility of the property owner.
If you are unsure whose responsibility it is please contact Thames Water on 0845 9200 800.
For further information about blockages and the transfer of private sewers please follow the ‘Thames Water’ link on the right hand side of this page.
If your neighbour's drain is blocked and overflowing onto your property
If, after approaching your neighbour and informing them of the problem, they refuse to do something about it you can contact us on 020 8583 5555 and we may be able to assist with the problem.
In some cases we may serve a legal notice on them to ask them to fix the problem.
If a notice is served
We can serve legal notice in respect of private drains and sewers. If you have been served with a notice from us to clear your drains then the terms of the notice must be complied with. If not the work will be undertaken by us on your behalf and you will be charged the costs incurred.
If you are a council tenant
You will need to contact the customer service centre at Hounslow Homes on 0800 085 65 75. They will arrange for a plumber to visit you to resolve the problem.
What to do if your keys have fallen down a road gully
We can attempt to retrieve the keys from the gully. There is a charge of £100 for this service.
Payment can be made by cheque or cash and must be paid to the crew at the time the keys are retrieved.
Reporting a blocked road drain or road gully
Blocked or broken road drains can be reported to us by completing the simple e-form using the link below
Who to report a broken/damaged manhole cover to
If you can identify the owner of the manhole cover eg Thames Water, Electricity Board, BT then you should report it to them directly.
If you are unable to identify the owner then you can report it to us.
Telephone: 020 8583 2000