Our sewerage services

Our sewerage services

Sewage is the water found in sewers. Sewerage is the network of sewers, pipes and pumps that lie unseen beneath virtually every street and road.  Sewers carry sewage from where it is produced to the sewage treatment works to be treated and cleaned.

Sewerage systems

The sewerage systems can be either combined, carrying both sewage and rain water or separate systems.

Private sewers

The government transferred ownership of private sewers and lateral drains from private individuals to water and sewerage companies on 1 October 2011.

Combined sewer overflow

During extremely heavy storms there may be more rain than the sewers can handle so the combined sewer overflows are designed to discharge this rainwater into watercourses.


Sometimes builders, plumbers or householders wrongly connect pipes, which carry waste water from toilets, baths, showers, sinks, washing machines or dishwashers, to the surface water system instead of the foul sewerage system. This can happen when a property is extended or renovated, when a new house is built or when additional toilets, sinks and appliances are added to a property and can result in pollution to rivers and streams.

If pipes which collect rainwater from roofs, roads and drives are wrongly connected to the foul sewerage system, water can overwhelm the sewer network and can contribute to flooding – this can also result in pollution.

Please help to protect water quality in our rivers, streams and bathing waters by making sure you have made the right connections.

For further information please visit our Misconnections page and

If you are unsure about what to do please use the services of an approved plumbing contractor via the ‘Watersafe’ scheme or contact us for advice.’

Sewerage ownership

This video shows you what parts of the drainage systems and drains you are responsible for and which parts of the drains and sewers we are responsible for.

Related content:

  • Our sewerage services Link

Sewer maintenance

This video will show you what types of problems can occur and what we can do and the techniques we use to maintain them.

Related content:

  • Our sewerage services Link

Downloadable content

  1. thumb

    What to do

    if you experience sewer flooding


  2. thumb

    Further investigations

    Into your sewer flooding.


Call 0800 328 7648

to report a flood.

Community portal

family on beach  

Our community portal is your voice in the work we do to improve your water and sewage services. Find out more



Northumbrian Water works closely with local businesses to encourage responsible disposal of food waste and kitchen fats, oils and grease (FOG). Find out more

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