Sewers, drains and drainage
What do we do?
Problems with SEWERS (shared drains or those not on your property) should be referred to Severn Trent on 0800 783 4444.
Council tenants with blocked toilets, blocked drains or overflowing manholes should first ring Housing Repairs directly on 01827 719299. If we can't solve the problem, either you or the Council can refer the matter to Severn Trent (0800 783 4444).
The Council no longer provides a service to unblock drains to private housing. Where you think your property or another has a problem with a broken, defective or wrongly connected drain , we may be able to help with investigating to suggest;
- What is wrong
- Where it is wrong
- How to fix it
- Who is responsible
- We do require permission to enter private private property, from the property owner or resident. This service is provided subject to our capacity and other demands.
We continue to offer a service to empty cesspits and septic tanks.
What are the objectives of this service and its standards?
For responding to requests to unblock a drain/toilet (Council tenants only), we will make an appointment as soon as practicable for our staff to visit the property.
For responding to complaints of broken or defective drainage, we will respond within 3 working days or more quickly if possible and for urgent cases.
For dealing with requests to empty a cesspit or septic tank, we will discuss our rates and offer you a regular contract at an appropriate frequency. Emptying can normally be arranged in 1-2 working days. Urgent requests will be accommodated by arrangement.
- Blocked drains, Cesspits/Septic Tanks, Land Drainage and Planning: 01827 715341
- Tenants Contact Housing Repairs: 01827 719299
- Blocked sewer: 0800 783 4444 (STW Ltd.)
- Building Regulations (it's better to check first than have to remove something later) telephone 02476 376376 for the Building Control Partnership
- Drainage from roads and highways AND FLOODING - Warwickshire County Council - telephone 01926 410410 or 412515
- Environment Agency - 03708 506 506
More About Drains
Most properties are connected by pipes to a drain or sewer, but some remote properties may have their own 'chamber' called a cesspit or septic tank - these require periodic emptying, for which the Council provides a service (but you pay lower 'water rates'). Drains and sewers are the pipes which carry foul waste and/or surface water away from a property. A private drain serves just one property and it is the owners responsibility to maintain, unblock or repair it. A sewer serves a number of properties and is the responsibility of the 'water and sewerage company' (referred to as the sewerage undertaker) e.g. Severn Trent Water AS AT 1/10/2011. A significant change in legal responsibility for sewers and lateral drains took place on October 1st 2011.
You will usually know when something is going wrong with your drainage system because the waste water may stop going away when you flush the toilet, or the gullies or manhole outside may overflow. Occasionally, if you have a shared sewer with neighbours, they may know before you do.
We can advise and help in tracing and resolving drainage problems in individual properties. Where there is disagreement or failure to act or take responsibility, this may mean we have to serve a legal notice. Failure to comply with such notices generally means that the Council will arrange for the repair work to be done 'in-default', and its costs recharged to those responsible.
If you want to avoid problems by looking out for your drains, try the following;
- Never put things down drains including the sink and toilet which may cause it to block, including cooking fat and babies nappies.
- Never put things into the drains for which they were not intended, such as car engine oil, petrol, very hot liquids etc..
- Don't slab or cover over manholes and inspection chamber covers, or rodding eyes.
- Make a diagram of which appliances flush to which manhole, and keep it safe with your household papers.
- Check the manholes on your property from time to time for signs of damage and rats. Broken manhole covers may give rats easy access to and from your property.
- Never connect new or relocated appliances into a pipe unless you are sure that it is suitable. You cannot drain anything into a surface (storm) water drain which is not rainwater.
- Failure to meet your responsibilities may result in enforcement action with costs recharged to the property owner. If you are a private tenant, contact your landlord or letting agent as soon as you are aware of a problem. Consider contacting your insurance company too in case you could make a claim to assist with the repair and any flooding damage.
If you have had any building works done, or new appliances fitted in, they MAY require Building Regulations and/or Planning approval.
Roofs and yards should also be effectively drained and discharged to an appropriate outfall - if they are not, powers exist to require property owners to rectify any faults or deficiencies, for example unblocking guttering or downpipes..
Businesses may require an additional or separate 'discharge consent' from the Environment Agency and/or water company, as they pay different rates to use water and produce sewerage. See Business Link and The Environment Agency for more information.
Links to other information and resources/organisations
To explore the wider subjects of water pollution, visit; http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/
Find out about the County Council's services (road drainage) at; http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/
For information on the services you pay for in water rates, or issues to do with public sewers, try; http://www.stwater.co.uk/