Can Yorkshire Water refuse to cover the costs of clearing a blockage in a shared drain if the customer did not wait for them to investigate? | LawHive - Solicitors & Lawyers Online
Can Yorkshire Water refuse to cover the costs of clearing a blockage in a shared drain if the customer did not wait for them to investigate?
England, So last week we noticed a manhole cover in our back garden connected to our toilet was overflowing. We called Yorkshire Water as we believed this drain serviced our neighbours properties too, but YW said it wasn’t on their drainage map. They offered to send out a technician to investigate but said the lead time was 4 days. We couldn’t really go that long without working facilities so called a drainage company to come out the same day and investigate. They found the pipe had been blocked by wet wipes (definitely not us) and confirmed by camera that the overflowing manhole was connected to neighbours properties upstream, so was definitely a shared drain. We already had to pay a call-out fee of £125, so decided to pay the extra £100 to clear the blockage so we could use the toilet again before the neighbours using theirs would end up spilling sewage in to our garden. We contacted Yorkshire Water to cancel the appointment and tell them what happened, however after some back and forth they’ve declined to cover the costs to clear the drain by the drain company we called because we didn’t give them the chance to investigate and put the problem right themselves. My question is can they refuse to cover the costs because we didn’t want to wait 4 days for them to come and check? We had this problem before with a drain at the front of our property and they covered the cost, but this was after they sent a technician out who told us it wasn’t a shared drain and we only discovered they were wrong after calling the drain company we used this time and they investigated and cleared it for us.

Lea Reece

19th October 2021

Top Answer
Quite simply yes. However, you may want to look at whether you are actually connected to YW’s sewerage network. I had a similar situation and after multiple visits YW decided we weren’t connected to their network (despite the obvious that it must end up somewhere as it’s been there for over 100 years) and so now we don’t have to pay the sewerage element of the bill.

Philomena Moran

11th February 2022


Anglian Water will attend within 24 hours if there is sewerage leaking from a manhole and the same if there are no toilet facilities at the property because of the blockage. They will usually clear the blockage free of charge then camera or visually inspect to check if it is a transfer sewer or private. Ask for their level or service agreements for attendance times and raise a complaint that you have had to pay to unblock a transfer sewer when they should have attended.

Daniel Fontaine

11th February 2022

1 upvote

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