Drains and sewers


Find out who is responsible for clearing and maintaining drains and sewers, and what to do if a problem affects your property. 

A drain is a pipe that carries sewage and surface (rain) water from a single property. 

Responsibility for drains

If you own the property, the drains within the boundary of your property are your responsibility. It is up to you to clear the drains if they block and to maintain them. If you are a tenant, your landlord is responsible for these drains. 

Outside the property boundary, the pipe becomes the responsibility of the local water authority. In Newham the local water authority is Thames Water Utilities Ltd 

We are not responsible for clearing or maintaining drains that serve homes and buildings. 

Clearing your drains 

Before clearing a blocked drain, check to see whether your insurance covers the work. If you cannot clear the blockage yourself, you can contact a specialist drainage contractor or plumber to clear the drain or repair it. If you are a tenant, contact your landlord.