As well as being responsible for your water supply, the water companies in England and Wales are also responsible for managing the sewerage system and treating wastewater.

Each water company faces individual challenges for managing the sewerage system. However, customers of South West Water have faced the highest bills in England and Wales. This is due, in part, to a legacy in terms of the infrastructure investment required in the region since 1989. Since April 2013, the Government has made public funding available to give an annual bill reduction of £50 to South West Water’s household customers.

Responsibility for drains and sewers

Since 2011, water and sewerage companies have been responsible for the maintenance of all sewers and wastewater pipes that lie outside the boundary of the customer’s property. However, the customer still has responsibility for the wastewater pipes that are within the boundary of their property.

The below image shows who has responsibility for wastewater pipes.

If you are unsure about wastewater pipe ownership, please contact the company that provides you with sewerage services in the first instance.

See our FAQs about the transfer of private sewers and lateral drains.