Frequently asked questions about Misconnections

You can also find tips and advice in our short films on  WaterSafe’s YouTube channel.

I have been told that part of the property's drainage is connected to the wrong sewer. What does this mean?

Many houses have two separate sewers:

  • The foul sewer takes waste water from toilets, bathrooms and kitchens to the sewage works for treatment
  • The surface water sewer takes rainwater from the roof and conveys it to a local watercourse (eg river or stream).

If you find that your property has wastewater pipes discharging to a sewer intended for rainwater only, it will cause pollution. This is known as a misconnection and you will need to undertake remedial work to put it right.

The  ConnectRight website provides guidance on what to do to find any misconnections and how to put them right - just use the "check your existing connections" guide.

Who is responsible for correcting a misconnection?

You, as the owner of the property, are responsible for corrective work. If you rent the property then you should contact the landlord who may be the local council, housing association or a private landlord.

Please also advise  your water and sewerage company to stop any further letters being sent to you.

If you own your property, you will be responsible, even if the misconnection was made by a previous owner. You could try to contact the previous owner to see if they would be willing to accept responsibility.

The survey undertaken at the time of your purchase would not have identified this problem unless you specifically asked for a full drainage survey.

What do I need to do to correct the drainage?

This depends on the fault that has been identified by your water company's survey contractor who should have given you advice on the day of their visit.

If you have received a letter from your water company you can contact them using the telephone number provided.

The property survey sketch enclosed with the letter will give you an indication of what is required.

The  ConnectRight website also provides guidance on what to do to check for and put right any misconnections - just use the "check your existing connections" guide.

I have been told that the sewer pipe may be cracked below ground. What should I do?

You should contact your property insurers or drainage insurance company if you have a policy.

The sewer may require a CCTV inspection to confirm the fault. The costs should be shared between the owners of all properties that are connected to the sewer.

Will my water and sewerage company do the work and allow me to pay by my water bill?

It is unlikely your water company will undertake work on private drainage.

The  ConnectRight website provides guidance on how to check your connections and how to correct them - just use the "check your existing connections" guide.

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