Private drains, sewers and watercourses


Private drains, sewers and watercourses

The responsibility for sewers and drains is split between Southern Water, East Sussex County County and ourselves.

Sewers and private drains

Southern Water is responsible for the maintenance of the public sewer system.  They have provided information and guidance on these matters and please visit Southern Water's Sewer Ownership pages.

If you need further advice, please contact them on 0330 303 0368.

Private foul drainage systems

We have many properties that are not connected to the public sewer system. These properties may be served instead by cesspools, septic tanks, private sewage treatment plants systems or other private foul drainage systems.

If your property is served by such a system, we can offer advice or investigate problems.  If the problem arises from a defect or issue from a neighbour's private foul drainage system please contact them first to resolve the issue. 

Should a direct approach to your neighbour not resolve the issue, please contact us.

Highway drains

For highway drain blockages, please contact East Sussex County Council on 0345 6080 193 or visit their Drainage and Flooding pages.

Watercourses (blocked streams and ditches)

The Council can require a landowner to clear a watercourse if it is blocked, which may result in flooding. You can report it to us for investigation.

The Environment Agency is responsible for the main rivers and some culverts in Bexhill. There are internal drainage boards covering Pevensey and Romney Marsh (including parts of Rye, Winchelsea and Pett) who maintain certain ditches to prevent flooding and maintain water levels during the summer.


  • Private Water Supplies

    If the water used by your household is not supplied by one of the region's Water Companies (South East Water or Southern Water), you are using a private water supply.

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