I live on a modern estate. The inspection chamber in my back garden has sewage oozing out of it. There are several other houses where the drains are not working properly. Will the council clear the blockages and repair any damage to the pipe?

As you live on a modern estate it is almost certain that the drainage system you describe is a private sewer.

If a private sewer is blocked, any of the users of it may pay for it to be unblocked. It is advisable for the users of a private sewer to agree among themselves how any charges are to be shared.

If the council is called in to investigate the problem, legal notices can be served on all affected properties requiring the sewer to be unblocked, within a specified time. If the blockage is not removed, the council can give instructions for the work to be carried out and recover costs from the users, along with costs incurred by the council.

Most blockages can be cleared by rodding through the sewer from an access point such as an inspection chamber or a rodding eye. Sometimes, however, it is necessary for the sewer to cleared using a high pressure water jet system which should only be done by a specialist contractor.

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