Last edited 22 Sep 2020

Difference between drains and sewers

A drain is a pipe that serves only one building, conveying water and waste water away to a sewer. A lateral drain is a section of drain positioned outside the boundary of a building, connecting with the drains from other buildings to become a sewer.

Sewers (sewerage), are the underground networks of pipes that carry sewage (waste water and excrement), waste water and surface water run-off, from drains to treatment facilities or disposal points.

Property owners are responsible for the maintenance and repair of drains inside the boundaries of their property (unless the drains of other properties run through their property).

Since 2010, most private sewers and lateral drains that connect to the public sewer network are owned by the regulated sewerage companies.

Some buildings have drains that connect to a cesspool, septic tank or treatment plant rather than a sewer.

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