Drain Repairs Stockton-on-Tees

Blocked Drains Specialists in Darlington

Phone Number: 01642 478 050

How To Clean Outside Drains

Having a blocked drain in your home is a common problem. Although there are other signs you can look out for to know when the drain is blocked, foul smells and sewer back up are among the most prominent signs. 

woman using plunger to unblock drain

To determine who is responsible for clearing a blocked drain, the first thing you should consider is whether the blockage is on a private drain or a public sewer. For you to understand this better, there are some things you should understand. 

  • First, the pipe that exits your house is known as a drain. 
  • Secondly, when this pipe (drain) joins with other pipes from another property or home, it becomes a sewer. 
  • Thirdly, sewers can either be public or private depending on their location. 

As a result, when sewers are blocked, the responsibility of unblocking them varies depending on where the sewer is. 

Public Sewers

Public sewers are usually under the responsibility of a sewerage undertake i.e. local water authority. This means that cleaning, maintenance and unblocking the sewerage is under the responsibility of a water authority. 

However, if your property is the only property using the sewer, it is classed as a private drain. Therefore, when it gets blocked, you will have to pay a private contractor to clean it because it is your responsibility.

Private Sewers

Private sewers are used by more than one households i.e. if your property and your neighbours use the same pipe. When private sewers get blocked, it is a collective responsibility to clean it. The costs should be shared to all the households that are connected to the sewer pipe. 

If there is a dispute over who should and shouldn’t pay for professional services, you should contact your local Environmental Health Officers (EHOs).

What to do if your drain or sewer is blocked

In case you are not sure whether it is your drain or sewer that’s blocked, you can contact your local EHOs who can assess the problem and advice you on what you should do next. 

In addition, depending on whether it is the sewer or the drain that’s blocked, they can tell you whether it is your responsibility to have it cleared or whether your neighbours should also contribute. If it is your private section of the drain that has a blockage, you can check with your neighbours to see if they’ve been affected too. You should have the drain or sewer cleared as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening.


If you experience blocked drains in the Darlington area contact our drainage expert today. We can unblock your drains quickly and effectively.