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I have a blocked drain

If you have a blocked septic pipe or sewage drain outside your house, here's what to do next.

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How do I know if I have a blocked drain?

Typical signs of a clogged sewer line in your home include gurgling noises or water levels rising. These symptoms can come from anywhere where water leaves the house, such as a toilet, sink, washing machine or dishwasher.

Who is responsible for what?

How you deal with your blocked drain will depend on whether it’s caused by a blockage in the main public sewer line, or in your own household system.

An info-graphic displaying drainage pipes on properties
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Property boundary

The property boundary shows the separation between the land that you or your landlord owns, and the land that is publicly owned.

Private drains

Private drains are usually owned by the property owner and maintenance is their responsibility.

Public sewers and lateral drains

It’s our responsibility to maintain the public sewers. In total, we have over 40,000km of sewers within our network.

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Property boundary

The property boundary shows the separation between the land that you or your landlord owns, and the land that is publicly owned.

Private drains

Private drains are usually owned by the property owner and maintenance is their responsibility.

Public sewers and lateral drains

It’s our responsibility to maintain the public sewers. In total, we have over 40,000km of sewers within our network.

How to protect your home from blocked drains

Here’s a list of things you can do around your home to keep your drains moving freely and avoid blockages:

  • Never pour fat down the sink. It should go into a container and then into the bin. The majority of sewer flooding incidents are caused by the build-up of fat, oil and grease in pipes.
  • Never pour motor oil, paint and other waste either down the sink or directly into rainwater drains. A lot of rainwater drains flow into rivers and coastal waters and will harm wildlife and the environment.
  • Only flush the three Ps (pee, poo and loo paper) down the toilet. Wipes, sanitary products, nappies and cotton pads or buds should go in the bin – or they’ll block your drains.
  • Check your connections. Sometimes appliances such as washing machines and even toilets can get connected to the wrong pipes. That means untreated water is flowing directly into rivers and coastal water harming wildlife and the environment.

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