What is the difference between a drain and a sewer?

A drain serves only one property. This is the home-owners responsibility.

A lateral drain is the section of pipe which continues beyond the property boundary. This is the responsibility of United Utilities.


Drains – As a home owner you are still responsible for any drain serving only your property within your boundary. If you have a blocked or damaged drain, then your options will be to either contact a drainage company or to contact your home insurance company, as you may be covered under your buildings insurance policy.

Shared Drains – United Utilities will be responsible for any shared drainage whether it falls within your boundary or not. If you are experiencing problems with shared drainage you will need to inform Untied Utilities.

Septic Tanks – United Utilities will not be transferring ownership for private drainage which is served by a septic tank, whether it be shared or otherwise, this will remain as private drainage, and responsibility for the upkeep of this drainage rests with those properties who benefit from it. If you have issues with your septic tank or the drainage connected to it you will need to contact a drainage company or your home insurance provider.

Road gulleys are the responsibility of Lancashire County Council Highways.