Blocked drains and sewers

Responsibility for drains and sewers

On 1 October 2011 ownership and responsibility for the maintenance of private sewers and lateral drains was transferred to the water and sewage companies in England and Wales.

In Slough this means sewers and lateral drains are owned and maintainable by Thames Water Utilities. Responsibility for the maintenance of drains stays with the householder.

What is a drain?

A single pipe which runs from a property and takes sewage and waste water to join a sewer.

What is a sewer?

A pipe that takes sewage and waste water from 2 or more properties.

What is a lateral drain?

A lateral drain is the part of a drain that lies outside of your property boundary under private land or public land, such as a footpath or road, and connects to a sewer.

More information on how the transfer of responsibility for private sewers affects you and your property can be found on Thames Water’s website.