Shropshire Council

Types of drainage

Public Sewer

Sewerage companies are responsible for public sewers which typically carry waste water away from built up areas.  Public sewers fall in to three categories depending on the type of waste water they carry.  These are public foul sewers, public surface water sewers and public combined sewers.  Combined sewers carry both surface and foul water.

The three sewerage companies operating within Shropshire are:

You can find out which sewerage company you need to contact by looking at your latest sewerage charges bill.

Private drain

This is a pipe serving a single property. Private drains are the responsibility of the property owner(s) who gain benefit from them.  As with public sewers, they can carry either surface water, foul sewage or a mixture of both.

Highway gully

This is a means by which rain water falling on the highway enters a highway drain.  These are typically the gratings which can be seen at the side of the road. Highway gullies on the public highway are the responsibility of the highway authority. In Shropshire, for non trunk roads, the highway authority is Shropshire Council.  The highway authority for trunk roads is the Highways Agency.

Highway drain

This is typically a pipe which drains rain water that has fallen on to the highway.  In Shropshire, for non trunk roads, the highway authority is Shropshire Council.  The highway authority for trunk roads is the Highways Agency.

Watercourse

The term watercourse includes rivers, streams, brooks, ditches, culverts, mill races, sluices, dykes and any other means through which water flows across the land.  The responsibility for the maintenance of a watercourse rests with the owner of the land through which it passes. Find out more about maintaining a watercourse.

Main river

A watercourse designated as such on the Environment Agency’s Main River Map.  The responsibility for the maintenance of a main river rests with the owner of the land through which it passes.  Where a main river forms the boundary of two properties, the maintenance responsibility is usually shared.  In some locations, the Environment Agency carries out its own targeted maintenance on main rivers.  Queries regarding main rivers and their maintenance should be directed to the Environment Agency.

Ordinary watercourse

A watercourse that is not designated as a main river.  The responsibility for the maintenance of an ordinary watercourse rests with the owner of the land through which it passes.  Where an ordinary watercourse forms the boundary of two properties, the maintenance responsibility is usually shared.  Queries regarding ordinary watercourses and their maintenance should be directed to Shropshire Council, which can contact the landowner in question.  

Culvert

The artificial means through which a watercourse (either main river or ordinary watercourse) flows underground.  Culverts are typically installed to allow a watercourse to pass beneath a road or access point.