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Drainage responsibilities

Property owners

Property owners are responsible for:

  • drains within the property boundary serving only the one property
  • drains connecting to septic tanks

For blockages in or damage to either of these types of drain, contact a drainage company or check with your insurers to see if you are covered.

Septic tank permits and rules can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Cheshire West and Chester Council

We are responsible for:

  • any drainage within the highway boundary including gullies
  • some culverts located underneath the highway

United Utilities/ Welsh Water

United Utilities and Welsh Water are responsible for:

  • shared drainage pipes (sewers), whether the pipe falls within the boundary of a private property or not
  • pipes where a drain continues outside a property boundary

If you are having any problems with these systems, please make sure to contact United Utilities or Welsh Water, depending on your provider.


Landowners are responsible for:

  • maintaining any watercourse which passes through or adjacent to their land
  • culverts located within their land boundary

As the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA), we can investigate where flooding occurs from watercourses that are not classed as a main river. These watercourses can be ditches, streams or brooks.

We can then either serve legal notice on the landowner responsible under The Land Drainage Act 1991 to carry out the necessary work, or we can carry out the work ourselves if the landowner responsible is not dealing with the problem. In this situation we can reclaim our costs relating to any works undertaken. The Environment Agency are responsible for serving notice on land owners adjacent to a main river.

For further guidance on owning a watercourse and your responsibilities as an owner can be found on the GOV.UK website.