Public sewers

Wessex Water owns and maintains all shared sewers and drains beyond the boundaries of private properties. Blocked or defective sewers should be reported to them for repair.

Septic tanks

We provide information, advice, and assistance if you are experiencing problems with residential septic tanks and cesspools.

We can also investigate complaints about leaking tanks or defective soak-aways.

We may ask the owner of the tank to fix the problem, and could take legal action if they don’t comply.

Gullies and ditches

We regularly empty and clean gullies and ditches on public land and their connections to the drainage system along roads. We aim to carry out essential works within 24 hours.

Ditches on private land are the responsibility of the landowner, but we will investigate concerns about them.

If you own land or property next to a river, stream, or ditch you are a ‘riparian landowner’ which means you have certain responsibilities. 

Our guide explains more about your responsibilities and rights, and our responsibilities as the Lead Local Flood Authority.

Larger open ditches (rhynes)

Large open ditches (rhynes) are mostly the responsibility of an internal drainage board.