Who is responsible for the manhole on my property?
If there is an issue with a manhole nearby or on your property you will want to get it sorted as soon as possible. In this guide we outline the different types of manholes and who is responsible for them.
If the sewer is outside the boundary of your property or is shared with another household, it is the responsibility of the sewage service provider to maintain it.
If the manhole is in a street or road, it will be the responsibility of one of the utility providers to maintain it.
The main sewer pipe will be under the road and will need trained workers to enter, as sewers can be dangerous.
If the manhole is inside the boundary of your property and is not shared with another household, it is your (or your landlord’s) responsibility. The manhole cover is usually an access point for a drain and not the main sewer.
If your property was built before 1937, the council is responsible for maintaining the drains, but they can claim the cost of any repairs from you.
If your property was built after 1937, it is your responsibility or collective responsibility to clean and maintain the drainage. Your local council can help you to find out whose responsibility it is.
The water company is responsible if it is a shared drain. If it is your own drain that leads directly from your house, it is your responsibility or your landlord’s.
You will find manholes where drains or sewers meet underground. These are called junctions.
Overview of Manhole Responsibility
The picture below illustrates private drains, shared sewers and public sewers. It is colour coded so that you can clearly see which responsibility. If in doubt, always contact your local council.