Do you assume that your property is automatically connected to the public sewer system? You probably imagine that public sewer connections are the responsibility of utilities companies – large scale work that is not to do with you and your home.

Have you heard of a lateral drain? This is the drain outside your property boundary, connecting it to the public sewer network. At one time, lateral drains were the responsibility of property owners, which led to many complex ownership issues when problems occurred, as more than one property would feed into the lateral drain.

Since 2011, sewerage companies took on responsibility for these lateral drains, and other private sewers.

However, the last piece of the puzzle is your own connection to the public sewer, within your property boundary. This bit is your responsibility.

Your Public Sewer Connection

If you own a recently built property, or one that has been redeveloped, you may need to arrange to have it connected to the public sewer network.

Drains and sewers carrying your household waste are your responsibility, either as a homeowner or landlord. This involves you applying for a connection, to comply with Section 106 of the Water Industry Act.

What should you do to get this work carried out? The simplest way is to use a qualified contractor to do the work. Once the work is complete, the Water Authority will issue you with a Certificate of Satisfactory Inspection – all the more reason to ensure that whoever carries out the work is fully qualified and experienced to do so.

Drainage Consultants specialises in all aspects of drainage work, including public sewer connections. This can involve a variety of methods, such as adding an extra section of drain to connect your property to the public sewer; we might need to use a y-piece junction to connect to a curved pipe. Whatever the job demands, we have the professional means to tackle it efficiently and thoroughly.

You’re responsible for your property’s sewer connection but we can complete the work on your behalf, ensuring that your connection is fully compliant with the Water Authority’s conditions.

Contact Drainage Consultants today for more details about public sewer connections – what your responsibilities are and how we can help you.

Are You Pouring More than Fat Down the Drain?

The aftermath of the festive season might typically lead to spike in gym membership, but it can also spell trouble for drains and sewers. Recent estimates from scientists suggest that removing grease, oil and fat from the drainage network totals around £50m a year on UK household bills.

Another significant figure is the 15 million cups of roast turkey fat we pour down the kitchen sink on Christmas day; and in terms of the cost, you could be pouring a lot more than fat down the drain.

 

What Happens to Fat in Sewers?

The sewer system is designed to transport waste by using water. Adding fat and grease to the system will eventually clog it up, impeding its flow. A blocked sewer, backed up to your drain is more than an inconvenience: it is also a potential health risk.

Your kitchen sink plughole is connected to the sewer, and when you pour oil, fat and grease down it, this forms into a hard, chalky substance which is really difficult to then remove.

Over time, fatty acids transform from an unsaturated to saturated form, and this is one of the ways scientists think this hard substance forms.

 

Diagnosing Drainage Problems

 

If fat and grease starts to coat the internal walls of pipes, it can start to affect how well a drainage network performs, as it cools, hardens and reduces the diameter of the pipework.

For domestic drains, fat tends to gather and solidify in the area beneath the sink, which can then make a difference to how efficiently water drains out of the sink.

For this kind of persistently sluggish drainage, or where there are frequent blockages, a drain survey is the ideal method for diagnosing the problem. Using CCTV cameras and sonar drain tracing, we can develop a clear idea of the state of your drains. If there are blockages, we will pinpoint exactly where they are; and if there are weaknesses in the system, our survey will expose these.

A drain survey is a cost effective way of professionally diagnosing drainage problems, and provides the necessary information for us to take effective remedial action.

If you’re experiencing blocked or slow drains, limit how much oil, fat and grease you’re putting down them and give us a call.

We all like to get on with our neighbours, but sometimes the unexpected can throw up obstacles to good relations. Drains can be a problem in this regard, when it comes to working out who is responsible for drainage.

Keeping the peace may require keeping a cool head, but it also may mean finding out more, which is where a drain survey comes in handy.

Whose Blocked Drain is it Anyway?

This all depends on where the blockage occurs, but clearly if it’s affecting both you and your neighbours then it’s going to be a potential source of conflict.

The first thing to think about is where the drain is actually situated, which will then determine whether it’s a public or private sewer. A drain is the pipe leaving your house, but when it joins with another property’s drain it becomes a sewer. Sewers can be public or private, depending on whether they’ve been adopted by a water authority.

So, if your private drain is blocked, the responsibility it yours. If a shared sewer is blocked but it’s private, then the responsibility is shared between you and your neighbours whose drains connect to it.

If there’s a dispute, then the local Environmental Health Officer (EHO) can, if needs be, serve a notice on you all, giving you 48 hours to have it cleared, which will probably force some kind of agreement.

 

Finding Out More

Regardless of who’s drain or sewer it is, there may well be an urgent need to find out why and where the blockage has occurred. A drain survey is an excellent way of doing this. It involves sending a CCTV camera down the drain to record exactly what’s down there.

This may also be a way of determining exactly who is responsible for the taking care of the blockage, as it will reveal where this is happening, whether in the drain or sewer.

Drainage Consultants are specialists in drain maintenance and repairs, and in detecting and removing blockages.

Don’t fall out with your neighbours over a blocked drain – contact Drainage Consultants today and let us help you sort it out.