Landlord and property

Drainage information and advice

When it comes to drainage at your home or at your buy-to-let property, there can be a whole host of confusing terms bandied around. This guide explains what some of the most common terms are and what they mean:


An underground pipeline which removes and flows away foul sewage and/or surface water from a single property.

Lateral drain

A drain which is outside of the boundary of the property.


A pipeline which normally removes and flows away foul sewage and/or surface water from more than one property.

Foul sewage/water

Domestic or industrial waste water i.e. washing facilities, WC's, sinks etc.

Storm/surface water

Rainwater from roofs, paths, drives, etc.

Combined system/sewer or drain

A system which drains both foul and storm water.

Ground water

Water which naturally occurs within the ground (water table).

Up/down stream

The direction of travel compared to the flow of water

General maintenance advice

We all know that prevention is better than the cure, but how does this apply to your drains?

Here are a few helpful hints to pass to your tenants to help maintain the drains and avoid blockages:

  1. Don’t flush non-degradable items down the toilet, such as sanitary towels, nappies and wipes

  2. Regularly check that the drains are free flowing by lifting drain covers

  3. Don’t dispose of food waste down the kitchen sink

  4. Avoid putting fats and grease down your drains

  5. Don’t allow debris and leaves to collect in the gutters and drain gullies

  6. Keep items that could fall into the toilet or down a plughole away from the area

This post was contributed by The Property Consortium

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