In a nutshell, properties often have two types of drains: foul sewers, and surface water drains.
Foul water drains are used for wastewater. That includes waste like toilet paper, pee, and poo, and waste from your washing machine and shower.
Surface water is rainwater, puddles, that kind of thing. Surface drains takes that kind of water straight back into the environment.
When the wastewater is connected to the surface water drain, and vice versa, it's called a misconnection.
That means when a dodgy plumbing job connects a kitchen sink, for example, to the surface drain, the contents of that kitchen sink go straight into the outdoors, and not our treatment works.
It also means if surface water is going into your foul drains, there's a bigger risk of flooding, especially during heavy rain.
It's really serious. If we think about that misconnected kitchen sink, or a misconnected washing machine, you're pouring bleaches, detergents and washing liquids straight into the watercourses.
That kind of pollution only gets worse depending on what chemicals are used, too. Our wildlife and natural habitats are all at risk.
If you're a homeowner, or a landlord, you are responsible for fixing misconnections.
Make sure you use a WRAS-approved plumber to carry out work. This means you're doing your bit to protect our environment.