In 2011, legislation covering the ownership of drainage structures changed placing the responsibility for some previously privately owned apparatus into the ownership of the local water authority. In some circumstances, sewers on private land can also be the responsibility of the local water authority. If you are concerned over the maintenance of the drainage system, further information can be found on the South West Water Opens in a new window website.

There are some drainage features in the highway that are the responsibility of the home owner. These would be what we term as ‘gutter trunks’, drainage channels that run across the footway provided solely for the purpose of discharging water from a private property (normally a roof). If you need to undertake maintenance works or to install a new gutter trunk, you may need a licence to work in the highway.