The owner is responsible for the repair and clearing of blocked drains within private properties. The pipe that carries waste water away from your house is a drain and is your responsibility.
If this pipe joins a drain from another property it becomes a sewer. The sewer is usually Thames Water’s responsibility. If you need to talk to someone to avoid unnecessary call-outs and charges.
Please visit Thame’s Water advice for property owner’s.
A blocked sewer
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 the sewer is not Thames Water’s responsibility
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 will be 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 email@example.com.
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.
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. In some cases we may serve a legal notice and ask them to fix the problem.
When 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.
Please contact the customer service centre . They will arrange for a plumber to visit you to resolve the problem.