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Who is Responsible for Blocked Sewer Drains in Sydney?

plumber holding a drain pipe in an art

Blocked drains are an issue that can’t be ignored. They’re smelly, messy and often impossible to fix without the skills and tools of a professional. Whether you’ve just signed a mortgage, taken on a new lease, or you’ve been living in your home for a while – the unmistakable stench of a blocked sewer drain is never a welcome scent. One google search will tell you that fixing a blocked sewer drain is a job for the professionals, so you may be wondering who is responsible for bringing new life to your pipes, and more importantly, who foots the bill.

Blocked Drains, Explained

To make the best choice for your drains and pipes, it helps to know what makes them tick. The most common causes of blocked drains include:

  • Household grease, oils and fats
  • Invasion from tree roots
  • Storm damage
  • Large debris or household items entering the drain way
  • Flushed wet wipes and sanitary items
  • Long hair accumulating in the drain

The sewer drain is an essential part of your home that is responsible for wastewater and sewage making its way into the correct treatment plant before flowing into waterways. If your drains are overflowing, backing up, producing bad smalls, or if your toilet isn’t flushing how it should – chances are your sewer drain is clogged and requires special attention from a professional.

So, who is responsible?

If you’re renting

When you’re renting, the person responsible for fixing your pipes will depend on the damage and the situation. You are responsible if you caused the blocked drain by flushing the wrong thing, dropping something in the drain or letting hair build up. More so if you caused damage to the property that cracked or dented a pipe, causing it to malfunction.

The onus falls on the landlord if the cause of the blockage is unknown, if the landlord has damaged the pipe or if it has been blocked due to wear and tear, storm damage or natural invasion from tree roots.

If you’re a homeowner

There is little wriggle room if you’re the homeowner and the repairs will likely fall on you to organise. You are responsible for all plumbing issues in and around your property, including those deep underground and right to the edge of your boundary.

It helps to be aware of where the boundary of your land ends, so you aren’t paying for what is the council’s job to repair. However, note that your sewer service is still the owner’s responsibility from the house to the Sydney water junction which is classified as the private sewer line. Depending on the location of the Sydney Water main this can sometimes exceed the boundary fence line. To get the right answer to obtain a Sewerage Service Diagram from the Sydney Water website or contact our office to assist with obtaining a diagram.

If it’s in a public space

Stormwater drains and sewer pipes run underground in complicated networks below nature strips, walkways and even roads. If you are experiencing issues in your business or notice the drain at your local park is overflowing, the responsibility falls on the council to repair stormwater pipes only. More so, the pipes and drains that lead away from your property are the council’s responsibility, including everything from the boundary of your property and beyond. To report a drainage problem to the council, visit the relative city council page, such as the Penrith portal here.

If you’ve got insurance

Your insurance will not always cover the complete relining or repair work of your pipes, but it may cover the damage caused by overflowing or malfunctioning systems. If you’ve just had new pipes installed and they are clogged, broken or blocked, they may be covered under warranty and the company will cover the cost or replacement. It’s important to read the fine print regarding your insurances and warranties to make sure you’re getting the most of each when it comes time for your pipe relining work.

We can help…

We’ve been helping homeowners, renters and the council for decades, making stormwater and sewage drains flow more efficiently and effectively than ever before. We perform comprehensive sewer drain cleaning with innovative pipe relining and jet blasting solutions to bring new life to your pipes. With no-dig necessary, using keyhole and CCTV exploration, pipe relining is the no-fuss, long-lasting solution you’ve been looking for.

For a free consultation with our knowledgeable, approachable and trustworthy crew – send an online enquiry our way, and we’ll be in touch to discuss bringing your pipes back to life.

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