Drains and sewers

  • A drain is a pipe serving one property. The owner of the property is responsible for maintaining the drains.
  • A sewer is a pipe serving more than one property. In Wigan, United Utilities are responsible for the maintenance of all sewers, with a few exceptions.

The United Utilities website (external link) explains who is responsible for the maintenance of different sections of drain and sewer networks in more detail.

How do I view the sewer and water records?

Wigan Council has an agreement with United Utilities that residents can view the public sewer and clean water records at Wigan Life Centre South, free of charge and by appointment only.

Please be aware that we cannot issue the plans to the resident as United Utilities charge for this service, residents can however take a photograph, trace, copy the plan etc.

We hold no records of private drainage serving individual properties.

Public and shared sewers

If you have a problem, including blockages and associated flooding that you believe would be the responsibility of United Utilities, please contact them directly on 0345 6723 723.

If you believe that United Utilities are not properly addressing a problem you can complain to the Consumer Council for Water (external link) but you must give United Utilities the opportunity to resolve the problem first.

Blocked rainwater grids

Report blocked roadway grids if the road is flooded due to a blocked rainwater grid or gully and we will attend to the problem.

Drains and private sewers

Privately owned properties

If you have a problem with your drains, you can either choose to fix the problem yourself or contact a private contractor. You can find details for contractors in local business directories.

If repair work is needed it is worth checking with your buildings insurance provider first as you may be covered. Several companies also offer insurance that specifically covers drain blockages and defects.

Rented properties

We generally expect landlords to unblock and make repairs to private drains as necessary.

Please report problems to your landlord or letting agency in the first instance. If they do not resolve the problem for you then please contact us and we will work with your landlord to ensure the necessary work is undertaken.

If you are a Wigan Council tenant, you can report the problem online.

Problems with drains on neighbouring properties

If a neighbour is not fixing a problem with their drains and this is causing you problems, for example flooding or smells, please contact us or and we will visit to assess the problem. We have legal powers to ensure that drains and private sewers are kept in working order.


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