Find out more about drainage and sewerage including what to do and who to contact if you have problems.

Land drainage

Land drainage is a complex area of responsibility, but in short a landowner is responsible for the drainage of their land.

By law a person owning lower-level land has to accept natural land drainage water (that is spring water, ground water or surface water run-off) from adjacent land at a higher level.

In the case of ditches, streams and rivers it is the landowners each side of the watercourse (known as "riparian owners") who are responsible for the maintenance of the watercourse itself and the flow within it.

Certain important streams and watercourses are known as Main Rivers and in these instances the Environment Agency have additional responsibility to maintain water flow and carry out flood defence works. The term 'Main River' does not reflect the actual size of the watercourse but the overall effect of that watercourse on the drainage system of the area. The landowner is still responsible for the physical maintenance of any watercourse known as a Main River.

Main Rivers for the Mole Valley area are: The River Mole; The Pipp Brook; The Rye Brook; The Bents Brook; The Whithey Brook; and, The Dolby Brook.

The Environment Agency provides comprehensive guidance on land drainage and riparian responsibilities on the Environment Agency website

Sewage and drains

Sewerage is removed from your home to a treatment plant via a network of pipes. The responsibility for maintaining and cleansing this sewerage network depends on whether they are drains, private sewers, or public sewers.

To contact Thames Water about drains and sewers, please call 0800 316 9800 or visit the Thames Water website. For Southern Water's 24 hour service, please call 0845 278 0845.