Pipework responsibility


You are responsible for:  

  • the maintenance of the plumbing inside your property, including all pipework, water tanks, taps and overflows  
  • the service pipe from your property to the street boundary including any pipework crossing third party land. If you are unsure about the route of your supply, contact us for advice on location and responsibility.
What pipework are you responsible for? 

Important - safe earthing of your property

If you suspect your property may be earthed using the water supply pipe, it’s important you contact your electricity company or a qualified electrician for advice.

For homes built before 1966, it used to be common practice for the incoming customer supply pipe to be used for electrical earthing.

The new pipes we install are plastic which don’t provide an electrical earth.

We’ll write to you if we’re carrying out work in your area to renew water supply pipes.


The sewerage system serving your home includes pipes, drains and sewers - it is important to know who has responsibility for which parts.

You are responsible for the drains that serve your home up to the boundary of your property or to the point where it joins with pipework from another property, whichever is closest*.

You are also responsible for:

  • pipes connected to private treatment systems such as septic tanks, soakaways and private treatment works
  • other systems which do not connect to the public sewer such as surface water pipes which discharge directly to a watercourse
  • internal drainage pipes or above ground pipework such as guttering or vent stacks.

* This only applies to properties built and occupied before July 2011. If your house was built after July 2011 it may be connected to a private sewer with shared responsibility. If in doubt, you will need to check your deeds or contact our asset enquiries team on 01225 526422 or email asset.enquiries@wessexwater.co.uk

Diagram of house with pipelines and who are responsible for them

Private sewage pumping stations that serve more than one property and pump to the public sewerage system transferred to us on 1 October 2016. Those transferring had to meet the following criteria:

  • they were constructed, connected and in use with the public sewer, prior to 1 July 2011
  • they already pump to the existing public sewer system owned by us
  • they serve more than one property
  • they are not part of a single, centrally managed site such as an industrial estate or hospital.

We will be responsible for all maintenance, breakdowns and electricity for the transferred pumping stations.

If your pumping station has transferred to us, you will have received instructions on how to transfer the electricity account to us. If you haven’t, please contact our pumping station transfer team on 0345 600 4 600. If your pumping station is on a shared electricity supply, we have agreed the amount of reimbursement with you.

If you have had a maintenance contractor looking after your pumping station, you need to tell them that we will be taking over the pumping station and they are no longer needed.

If you part own or are partly responsible for a private sewage pumping station and have not advised us of its existence yet, please call us on 0345 600 4 600 or let us know via our form with a grid reference and/or address, a description including how old it is and who currently maintains it.

If you become aware of a fault at a pumping station transferred to us, please call us on 0345 600 4 600. Please quote the site name and number as it appears on the pumping station control cabinet. 

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