Most of us take our drainage for granted; often we assume any issue that arises will be the responsibility of the water supplier. However though, generally speaking, you’re usually responsible for drains inside the boundaries of your property, while the sewerage company is responsible for lateral drains, which are outside of property boundaries, and sewers. Although most sewers are now publicly owned, there are still some private or unadopted sewers. If your property is served by one of these, you may be responsible for maintaining it.

So if there is an issue with the drain within your property boundaries then it is your responsibility, and they, unfortunately, do block up for a variety of reasons.

Some signs that will help identify a draining issue include:

1. If your toilet, shower, bath or sinks are all draining slowly this is likely an issue with the drain itself. Independent drainage issues will be an issue with the fixture itself. The toilet is often the main driver for a blockage – if flushing the toilet causes water to rise in the shower, or running taps causes the water in the toilet to rise, then you’ve got a blocked drain on your hands.

2. Foul smells are a dead giveaway for a blockage, if something has blocked the drain and begun to rot, you will certainly know about it.

3. Finally gurgling noises from pipes, drains and plug holes are all warning signs of a potential blockage. This is created when the air is trapped in the pipes and then waste water displacing it.

Typically the 2 biggest causes of drain issues will be grease/fat build up and tree root ingress. Fat build up is a large cause for blockage in the national sewer system and it will affect homes too. When you wash your plates or just pour fat down the sink, the warm liquidated fat will hit the cold outside water in the drains then solidify, over a period of time this will build up causing a blockage.

Root ingress is harder to avoid, and probably the biggest cause for blockages in homes. Root issues can be extremely serious and a big cause of subsidence related problems. Older clay pipes are particularly prone to root ingress as they are joined with just sand & cement these joints offer little resistance to fine tree roots which once inside develop into tap roots and root masses which then reduce the internal bore of the pipe.