Sewer connections

If your home isn’t correctly connected, you could accidentally damage your local environment. It’s therefore vital your water pipes and drains are linked in the right way.

Your sewer connections

The Environmental Act 1990 says it’s illegal to have drains connected to the wrong sewer pipe and it’s the homeowner’s responsibility to check. Did you look when buying a new home?


Most properties have two separate sewers:

  • the foul water sewer takes waste water from toilets, bathrooms and kitchens to the sewage works for treatment. If you have your own private treatment system, this advice may help
  • the surface water sewer takes rainwater from the roof and groundwater run-off to a local watercourse (river, stream or soakaway).

If your property has waste water pipes flowing into a surface water sewer intended for rainwater only, it will cause pollution. This is called a misconnection and you or the homeowner need to put this right. You or they could face a fine if you don’t.

A misconnection can cause grey water to flow into streams or rivers - your local watercourse.It’s typically due to washing machine waste running into a surface water drain.

Raising awareness

We've been working closely with the Environment Agency and other water companies to reduce pollution caused by appliance misconnections.

Connect Right

Are your water pipes and drains linked in the right way?