Adur and Worthing Councils – Who is responsible for your drains?

When it comes to drains most people don’t actually know the “ins and outs” of what they are responsible for and what the council looks after. On top of that most people don’t know the difference between a drain or a sewer as far as a legal definition goes. for people who live in Worthing or the local area under Adur District Council we thought we would help clarify a few points!

What is a Drain?

According to Adur and Worthing Council the following definitions are used for sewers and drains

  • Drain – A drainage pipe that is serving a single property.
  • Sewer – A drainage pipe that is serving multiple properties.
  • Public Sewer – A sewer that has been adopted by the sewerage undertaker which in this case is Southern Water.
  • Private Sewer – A sewer pipe that is owned by all the homeowners that is serves.
  • Lateral Drain – A drainage pipe that serves one property but that sits outside of the boundary of that single property.

What Does This All Mean?

Well basically if the pipe coming out of your home is on your property then it is your responsibility to look after it, keep it flowing and get any blocked drain issues sorted. This means what you put down the drain in your kitchen, toilets and bathrooms is down to you and if your drain blocks on your property then you need to give us a call.

However, a drain that serves your property in Worthing or the local area but that is outside of your property boundary is actually down to Southern Water. That being said, this shouldn’t be a signal to put bad things down your sink because nearly all blockages that occur happen very close to the property and this means its your responsibility.

Southern Water – Responsibilities

Southern Water is responsible for the following:

  • Any drain that serves a property that is not within the property boundary of the owner.
  • A drain that serves a property that lies on another persons land.
  • A private sewer that serves more than one property.
  • Drains that serve blocks of flats, commercial buildings and the like.

Any unusual situations that include some of the above but have other factors should be discussed directly with Southern Water but our friendly team have a lot of experience so would be happy to help solved the issue.

Here are two useful pages to visit about how to treat your drains properly to avoid blockages:

https://www.southernwater.co.uk/bag-it-bin-it

http://www.southernwater.co.uk/at-home/your-wastewater/pain-in-the-drain/default.asp

What is a Pre Purchase Drain Survey?

Pre purchase drain surveys are also known as home buyers drain surveys. They are becoming more and more popular with first time buyers and experienced home owners but what are they and why might you need one?

Basically a pre purchase drain survey is just that; it is a full detailed survey of the drains in and around a property done before someone buys it. Buying a home is a serious thing and making sure everything is in good condition is nothing new but it seems drains have often been forgotten about only to become a very expensive problem later on.

What’s the Difference between a normal survey and a drain survey?

A normal RICS survey like a home buyers report or full building survey is focused very much on the property itself. By this we mean it looks at walls, ceilings, damp, structural issues, brick work and rendering and much more. It also covers some of the boundary issues and even things like loft spaces and windows. A pre purchase drain survey will look at a check a totally different a rarely thought of part of the property. Where the normal survey stops he drain survey begins. The only time a RICS surveyor will look at drains is if they feel there is an issue that they noticed at the surface or in the home like an odd smell. They would simply not be able to see if roots were growing into a pipe in the garden or if there was a connection issue out towards the road for example.

Normal surveys are critical when buying a house but so is a drain survey. The results of not getting one can be the same; expense, stress and repair work.

Is It Important with a New Build?

As with most things, the newer it is the less likely there is to be an issues. That being said however, there have been a number of cases of new build homes with drain issues where things were not installed properly in the first place. The advantage of getting a drain survey done is that the results can be used to get the construction company to pay for the repair work.

How Do I Know the Drains are All Part of the Property?

Most pre purchase drain surveys will actually help map out the drains as well as work out the ownership and responsibility. This can be very useful for a number of reasons. The first reason is that it’s useful to know before purchase especially if anything is wrong. The second is that an issue could arise 5 years down the line and having clear evidence and information to show which parts of the system are yours, the water companies or the neighbours could save a lot of time and money. The final reason is then when or if you come to sell the property this kind of report can really have a positive affect on a potential buyer.

 

If you would like more information about this kind of survey then Click Here OR if you would simply like to speak to us and book in your survey then Contact Us Today.