I have been to see my neighbour who lives on a hill, and he has a stream of foul water running down his back garden.
It seems the flow is from a leak in the main sewer that links a number of properties to the street somewhere. Because this sewer is used by more than one property, I told him to contact Severn Trent as they are responsible for public sewers. Their reply (apparently) is they are "not responsible for public sewers on private land for properties newer that 1935".
Does anyone know if this is correct?
They also have a policy with Homeserve that appeared to cover this, but they have side stepped it by saying it is not an emergency.
They are an elderly couple with limited income, and I am not sure what to suggest they do. Any advice?
STW are correct. In any property built before 1935 where two or more houses foul outlets are joined together on private land they are considered a public sewer and thus the responsibility of the water board (or equivalent authority in your area) from the point they join together.
For properties built after 1935 it only becomes a public sewer once it leaves private property and enters the street even if two join together on private land. So they would be wrong to say they are not responsible for public sewers - they are. In this case its a question of whether this one is classified as a public sewer or a private sewer against the 1935 date.
You need to persevere with STW methinks.
Irrespective of whether STW can manage to sidestep this one or not this situation is a threat to public health and if STW won't address it then I guess the next stop is the environmental health people in the local council. If your neighbours are of limited means there must be some support for them through social services. Whichever way this needs sorting fairly rapidly.
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