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Drainage for private rented accommodation

There have been significant changes to the legislation relating to the ownership and maintenance responsibilities of sewers in recent years.

If your property has a system of underground pipes which connects your property and neighbouring properties to the main public sewer, the likelihood is that the recent changes could mean that more or even all of your system could now be maintained by the sewerage company, Severn Trent Water (STW).

The changes which came into force on 1 October 2011 are intended to:

  • Provide greater clarity over ownership
  • Provide effective management of the sewerage network
  • Remove the maintenance burden from householders

Responsibility for sewers

The diagram below shows who is responsible for your sewers.



  • Drain - pipework serving one property only
  • Lateral drain - the drains serving individual properties that are outside of the property boundary
  • Sewer - pipework which is shared or used by more than one property

In addition there are highway drains and gullies that dispose of surface water. In our borough these are generally maintained by Leicestershire County Council.

For more information, visit and search for ‘private sewer transfers’.

Useful contacts

  • STW Call Centre - for 24 hour emergencies - 0800 783 4444  
  • Highways & Road Gullies (Leicestershire County Council) - 0116 305 0001
  • Environment Agency (Floodline) - 0845 988 1188
  • Private Sector Housing (Charnwood Borough Council) - 01509 63 4651

Council tenants

If you rent a property from Charnwood Borough Council, phone 01509 63 4666 or email   

Housing Association tenants

If you rent a property from a Housing Association, you should contact the repairs and maintenance department.

Public roads

If there is a problem on a road or path outside your home, call the Highways & Road Gullies team at Leicestershire County Council on 0116 305 0001.

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