Drains and Sewers

Blocked drains, and other drainage and sewerage problems, are generally the responsibility of property owners, water and sewerage authorities, and highway authorities.


Sewerage companies are responsible for the public sewers. These are usually in roads or public open spaces, but may run through private gardens.

The sewerage company has a right of access to these sewers for maintenance. If the company carries out work on sewers on your land they must follow a code of practice, which is available from the company.

Anglian Water is the sewerage company for most properties in North Hertfordshire but some areas in the southern part of the district are covered by Thames Water. You can confirm who your sewerage company is by checking your water bill.


The drains, and internal pipes, within a property that carry household waste are normally the property owner's (or the landlord's) responsibility up until the boundary of the property where they connect to public sewers. There will often be a company maintained manhole at that point.

Your sewerage company will advise you about investigations and help available in the event of blockages or flooding. They may advise you of charges that may apply for carrying out work to private drains.

Gullies and drains on public highways are usually the responsibility of Hertfordshire County Council.

Contact details

Anglian Water
08457 919155 - billing and general enquiries
08457 145145 - blocked sewers (24hr hotline)

Thames Water
08459 200888 - billing and general enquiries
08459 200800 - blocked sewers (24hr hotline)

Hertfordshire County Council fault reporting

OFWAT (the water services regulation authority)