A toilet that is backing up, overflowing drains or foul smells in the area around drains are all indications of a blocked or damaged drain or gully.
A drain is classed as a single pipeline, which conveys foul sewerage or surface water from a single property. A drain is still a drain even if it goes past the boundary of your property until it joins a sewer. It is the responsibility of the owner-occupier to maintain and clear a private drain. Where problems occur to your own drain, seek advice from an appropriate contractor and your insurance company to see if you are covered by your policy. If the property is let then it may be the landlord's responsibility depending on where the blockage is.
The law on sewers changed recently, and sewers which take sewage from more than one property i.e. a row of houses are now the responsibility of the statutory undertaker. For problems regarding sewers please contact either Yorkshire Water or Northumbria Water.
For problems involving a highway drainage please phone North Yorkshire County Council Highways on Tel 01609 780780
For private drainage e.g. septic tank, or problems caused from neighbours property, Hambleton District Council has a statutory duty in the interests of public health to ensure that blocked and foul-smelling private drains are cleared. The Council has a number of legal options using Public Health Acts, The Building Act and other provisions but legal action is complicated and can involve extra expense and delay. Where works are carried out in default all costs incurred will be recovered from the property owner.
To make a complaint or for further advice please contact Environmental Health on Tel 01609 767138 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org