Drains are pipes that carry waste and surface water from one or more houses. When one drain meets another, it becomes a sewer. These are not the gullies or grids that can be found in the road to take water off the highway.
How do I know if it is my drain that is blocked?
If your drain is blocked you will usually know because your waste will stop going away when you flush the toilet or gullies outside will overflow. There will also probably be a smell.
Who is responsible?
Householders are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their drains until they connect with the public sewers. If you own the property, you will need to arrange to have a plumber or pipe/guttering contractor come to fix the problem.
If the pipe blocked serves your property and some of your neighbours and the properties were built after 1937, then it will be classed as a private sewer unless it had since been adopted by Welsh Water. It is the responsibility of you and all your neighbours who drain into the sewer above the point of blockage to clear it. To check if your sewer may have been adopted you should contact Welsh Water on their helpline 0800 0853 968.
A public sewer is a network of pipes that collects sewage from properties and into treatment works. Usually, the public sewer runs beneath the nearest road, but sometimes it can be some distance away. If you suspect that a public sewer is blocked you should contact Welsh Water on 0800 0853 968.
In suspected cases of blocked drains when strong odours or stagnant water are causing a health hazard to people in the surrounding area, Environmental Health can investigate and where necessary take enforcement action to remedy the situation. In these cases, all property owners upstream of the blockage will have to share in the cost of removing the blockage.
Please note, when reporting a blocked sewer or drain, if you are a Private Tenant or Homeowner, you will need to contact Welsh Water on 0800 0853 968.
Council Tenants can report a blocked sewer or drain online if the issue is only affecting their property. If the blockage is affecting more than one property then Welsh Water will need to be contacted on 0800 0853 968.
If the issue being reported is a potential health hazard, please call Highways Customer Care on 01443 866511 immediately.