Odour pollution

Drains and sewers

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 contact your local water supplier:

Highway drains

For problems involving a highway drainage please phone North Yorkshire County Council Highways on Tel 01609 780780

Private drains

For private drainage like septic tanks or problems caused from neighbours property, we have a statutory duty in the interests of public health to ensure that blocked and foul-smelling private drains are cleared. We have 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.

Further information

Please contact our Environmental Health team:

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