Environmental Permitting


Drains and sewers are the pipes that carry foul waste (for example from the kitchen and bathroom) and surface water (from the gutters and downspouts) away from houses.

The law surrounding drainage changed in October 2011.  Previously the Sewerage Undertaker was only responsible for the public sewers (usually the ones in the road) and private sewers that were constructed before 1st October 1937.

Now however, the Sewerage Undertaker is responsible for all sewers - a sewer serves more than one property and a drain serves a single property. Responsibility for drains within your property boundary remain with the house owner.   In Kettering the Sewerage Undertaker is Anglian Water

In some areas, such as places where houses were built in the 1960's and 70's, sewer pipes were made of a material called 'pitch fibre', which has over time, squashed due to the weight of soil on it.

If you have a problem with your drains and/or sewers, contact Anglian Water in the first instance, they will advise of the most appropriate course of action.  Their website has lots of good information about drains and sewers.

Many things can cause blockages in drains and sewers, and often when a sewer or drain is cleared, there is no sign of what caused the problem. Some common causes of blocked drains includes the build up of soap and grease deposits, tree roots, and items such as disposable nappies, cotton buds, condoms, wipes, tampons and sanitary towels.

If you live in a Council property, you will need to report a repair.

Report a housing repair

If you need assistance for emergency repairs outside of normal office hours (which are Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5.00pm) please call our Out of Hours service on 01536 416005.

If blocked highway drains and road gullies are causing surface water flooding they will need to be checked out by the Highways Authority. In Kettering this is Northamptonshire County Council using the Street Doctor service.
You can always contact Environmental Protection to discuss any drainage issues however it is likely we will refer you elsewhere.