Who is responsible for surface water drains?
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Fifty years later, California still follows the modified “civil law” approach known as the “rule of reasonable use.” This rule makes a landowner responsible for discharged surface water so as to minimize the harm and burdens to surrounding neighbours.
The best way to find out if your house has surface water drainage is to check the Title Deeds of your property or to check your property’s original Planning Application. All of this information will be held by your local authority, so you should contact them if you don’t have a copy of your own.
All water and sewerage companies have a duty to provide public sewers to make sure the area is effectively drained. Usually, you have the right to connect the drain from your property to the public sewer – although you may have to pay for this.
Sewers and lateral drains connected to the public network used to be the responsibility of the property owner. However, most are now maintained by local water companies. If you have any problems with your sewer or lateral drain, for example if it’s blocked, contact your local water company.