Private sewer transfer

For further information on the 2011 private sewer transfer click on the Logo below.

Following the new legislation that came into effect in 2011 with regards to the transfer of ownership of private sewers and lateral drains, South West Water Estates department were contacted to establish the effect this has on our site.


SWW’s legal department have confirmed that all drains on site are either the responsibility of the owners or South West Water dependant on where they lie.


This obviously affects you if you are faced with a block drain. 


In the event of a blockage to your drain system, you will need to establish whose responsibility it is. On this page are links to two PDF documents that give you some example scenarios of drain runs.


Please note that there are other scenarios that may occur i.e. shared drains on owners’ property or large plots (where the extent of the plot becomes the boundary).


If you establish that the block drain is your responsibility then call:


South West Water
0344 346 2020

This is a 24 hour number


The response time depends on the severity of the situation as described to the operator as well as the current availability of a contractor to clear the issue, so a minor leak in a field would receive a lesser urgency rating than sewage flooding someone’s house.


There are no charges to pay other than the standard sewerage and water charges.


Anyone can call this number but they will need to be able to describe the nature of the problem fairly accurately, and ideally be able to grant South West Water access to the property (where necessary) when they turn up. (We would suggest that the responsibility for this phone call is that of the Chalet owner, or an authorised representative/letting agent.)


South West Water where applicable are responsible for the sewers, but they are not responsible for the sewage, so in the event of a spill, they would not be liable for any costs or losses incurred by sewage damage, this would fall on the property owner’s own insurance. This is not a new principle.


We would suggest that if the problem persists, or South West Water’s contractors do not turn up when expected, the free phone number above should be called with a little more urgency. We would hope that this is unlikely to be a regular scenario, but you will appreciate that this adoption of the sewers is a relatively new thing to South West Water, and has the potential to suffer some teething problems!


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