Private housing repairs

Sewers and drains

Thames Water looks after the network of public sewers in the borough.

Maintenance of an individual drain serving just the single property is the responsibility of the owner of the property.

For advice on blocked drains and sewers or to report a sewer blockage on the Thames Water website.

How to tell if there's a problem

If your drainage system is blocked you will usually know because your waste will stop going away when you flush the toilet, or gullies outside will be overflowing. There may also be a smell.

For information on what causes blockages, Thames Water website.

If you are a private tenant and your drain is blocked, please contact your landlord/agent to report this. If the landlord takes no action, you can report it to us.

Who is responsible?

It is important to try and work out where the blockage is happening as this may affect who is responsible for solving the problem. If you feel that you are not solely responsible for a blocked drain and need help in contacting your neighbours, or you have any further queries, please contact us for further advice.

When we may be able to help

A private household is unable or unwilling to deal with the problem

In these cases we are able to serve a legal notice requiring the work to be done. We have the power to undertake works in some circumstances. This will be subject to an administration charge and it would normally be cheaper for the owners to agree amongst themselves to arrange for the works to be carried out.

Access is not possible or is denied onto a property to investigate the situation

We have powers in certain circumstances to enter the property at any reasonable time to assess the extent of the problem.

When there is a risk to public health

We can intervene if we have reason to believe that a risk to public health exists and it is unlikely that the person(s) responsible will be able or willing to carry out necessary works.

In tenanted properties

We can intervene if a landlord is unwilling to take action.