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How Do I Find Out Where The Drains Are On My Property?

So many people take their drainage system for granted, and for good reason.

This invisible labyrinth of water supply and sewage drains are connected to public sewers and the public drainage system which serve your entire town or city.

Our point? It’s out of sight and out of mind for many of us, so knowing a detailed map of all the drains on our property doesn’t always feel necessary, even as an otherwise organised property owner.

But what about when things go wrong?

What if sewage works need to take place around your home to fix an issue? What if you have groundwater seepage?

What if there’s a clogged drain and knowing your drainage map is the only way drainage specialists can reliably carry out drain repairs?

Even if you’re simply planning on extending your home, your drainage plans will need to be in the construction details so new drains can be connected appropriately.

So, just how do you find where all your drains are?

How Do I Find Out Where The Drains Are On My Property?

Locating Your Main Drains

The easiest place to start is with your main drain, which is usually where plumbers and drainage experts will start if there’s a problem at home.

Thankfully, they’ll be able to locate it quickly themselves, but it’s always handy to know where it is yourself.

What Is A Main Drain?

Your main drain is the drain in your house that all other drains lead to inside the home. From here, the main drain connects to the public sewer system through a series of lateral drains.

Are Lateral Drains My Responsibility Too?

According to Rider Drains Cleaning & Repairs no, these drains and the public sewer are usually not your responsibility as a homeowner.

Instead, it’s the local water authority that looks after these drains and pipes.

All you are responsible for are the drains in your property boundary – and your main drain is one of the most important ones.

So, Where Is It?

It’s easy to locate your main drain – simply head outside and look for a drain cover.

Beneath this is the main drain where all your wastewater pipes lead in the home, and it’s from here that the drain connects to the public drainage system.

How Do I Find Details About The Rest Of My Drainage System?

If you need to include a detailed plan of all your drains for planning permission, to help experts carry out work on your home, or to fix a major issue with your drains, then you will need to find drainage plans for your home.

What Are Drainage Plans?

Drainage plans provide an in-depth look at all of the drains on your property, and this can be extremely helpful when looking at extensions or carrying out any other work on your home that might impact your current drainage system.

Where Can I Find Drainage Plans For My House?

If you need a new drainage plan drawn up for whatever reason, it’s worth noting that there are a few things you can try to do before contacting leading specialists to carry out a drain survey for you – because these plans might already be available, saving you time and money.

1. Contact previous property owner

The best place to start is with the previous owner if you have their information.

If they ever carried out work on the property such as installing new bathrooms or kitchens, then they’ll have almost certainly needed detailed drainage plans, environmental reports, and conveyancing documents before going ahead.

You can usually find the previous owner’s information in the house deeds that came when you bought the property.

If contacting the previous property owner isn’t an option, then there are other ways you can get your property’s drainage plans without needing to contact the previous owner.

2. Speak with your local water authority

Although your local water authority or local water company will most likely only have the drainage plans for the public sewers and drains, they may still have your property’s drainage plans provided they had to work on your private drains to fix an issue in the past.

Contact your local water authority and ask if they have drainage plans or a drainage map for your property in particular.

They are allowed to store this property data, but in order to access it, you may be charged an administration fee.

3. Reach out to your local council/local authority

Your local council will almost certainly have drainage plans for your property, but the problem here is that the drainage plan may well be out of date.

They’ll certainly have information about where drains run on your property within their drainage plan, but it may well be the case that additional drainage has been added to your property more recently than their plans.

Still, they’ll usually only charge a small fee for their drainage plan, so it may be worth checking to see how up to date it is.

4. Check with your sewage company

Although a sewage company will only be able to provide you with a sewer map of your property, this will be able to provide you with some information like which drains are shared with houses nearby etc, which can be helpful if there’s an issue over who should pay for repairs, for example.

How Do I Find Out Where The Drains Are On My Property?

What Information Should Be Included In A Drainage Plan?

If you’re paying for a new drainage plan, or you’re simply wondering if the old plans have everything you need, then here’s a quick guide to what should be included in the drainage plans for your property:

  • all the drains on your property
  • storage areas
  • effluent tanks
  • where a septic tank or treatment plant is located
  • information about soakaways on or near your property
  • discharge points
  • bunded areas and their capacity
  • mains water supply
  • surface water drains
  • foul water drains
  • location of drain covers
  • location of spill kits
  • disposal mains location
  • inspection chambers location
  • watercourses on or near property

Additional information may be included if it’s relevant to your property, and likewise some of the information may be missing if, for example, there are no watercourses or springs that affect your area.

Each plan is unique, but this general guide should help you understand the information you need.

What If I Can’t Find Drainage Information And Plans For My House?

Finally, if you can’t find the information you need about the drains on your property, then you’ll need to contact a specialist to conduct a drain survey which will provide you with drainage plans and a drainage map with all the information you need.

Hopefully, though, one of the methods above will work for you, and you’ll be able to get access to the drainage information you need!

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