Drains and sewerage

Use our eForm to report problems with drains, gullies and manhole covers on public highways.

Report a road or pavement problem

You can also contact us to discuss or report drains and sewerage issues.

Responsibility for drains and sewerage

The drains which serve a property within its boundary are the responsibility of homeowners. Private rented tenants should contact their landlord.

Sewerage services in the area are managed by Yorkshire Water. They have the responsibility for shared sewers and the pipes outside a property boundary. You can contact them on tel: 03451 242424.

Our Neighbourhood Enforcement Team will carry out investigations in some cases, for example:

  • a private drain affecting a neighbouring property's drain
  • where there is a risk to public health
  • sewage discharging onto a public footpath

Land drainage

The law governing land drainage is complex. Statutory land drainage and flood risk management responsibilities are split between us and several other organisations, including:

All of these authorities have 'permissive powers' over ordinary watercourses, which includes approval of proposed works and requiring landowners to undertake maintenance works to watercourses to prevent nuisance.

Responsibility for the upkeep of ordinary watercourses usually falls to the owners of the land adjacent to the watercourse.

The Environment Agency is responsible for the main rivers in York:

  • The River Ouse
  • The River Foss
  • The River Derwent

They are also responsible for 'critical ordinary watercourses'. These are those watercourses which have the potential to cause property flooding:

  • Bur Dike
  • Tang Hall Beck
  • Osbaldwick Beck
  • Holgate Beck
  • Blue Beck

Waterlogged gardens

Waterlogged gardens are a common problem in the York area due to clay soil. Remedies for this are often limited and the responsibility of the property owner. Contact us if you need advice on land drainage.

Also see

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