Private sewer drainage
The public sewerage network in the Carlisle City Council District is owned by United Utilities. Visit the United Utilities website for further details. You may find a different company collects your water charges than the one providing this service. If you wish to report a problem affecting the public sewerage network you can contact United Utilities on 0845 602 0406.
For road gullies and drainage please contact Capita Highways on 0300 3032992
If your drain is blocked you will usually know because your waste will stop going away when you flush the toilet, or gullies outside will overflow. There will also probably be an odour.
The drains which run from your property are your own responsibility. Where your drain meets with a neighbour's drain, the pipework becomes a private sewer (and is now the responsibility of United Utilities).
It is a common misconception that when a drainage pipe leaves the boundary of one property, its maintenance becomes the responsibility of someone else.
In properties where there are separate drains for wastewater and surface waste, the water from your bathroom, toilet, kitchen and washing machine must go into the wastewater drain to be taken away and treated. The separate surface water drain collects rainwater from roofs, gutters and paths. This relatively clean water can be put back into local rivers and streams. Wrong connections can happen when new toilets, sinks or kitchen appliances are fitted, particularly in home extensions. The pipes which take water to each of the separate drainage systems are often very close together and can be confused.
- Don't connect waste pipes to drains which collect rainwater from your roof or paths.
- Do check with your local council if you are in any doubt about proposed or existing drains.
- Do use a reputable plumber, or if you do the work yourself, make sure you know exactly what is needed.
Septic tank and cesspit
The purpose of a septic tank is to treat waste water from premises generally not connected to the mains drainage system. Waste material (sludge) is allowed to settle in the tank and is digested by natural bacteria which must be allowed to breed within the tank. Over time this sludge builds up on the bottom of the tank. This sludge has to be removed regularly to ensure that the tank continues to work properly and to prevent the soakaway becoming choked.
If you are an owner/user of a private septic tank, the quality of the discharge and its impact on the environment are your responsibility.
Emptying should normally take place every 12 months. However, depending on the tank's size and usage, this period may be extended, but is not normally beyond two years.
We do not provide this service, however there are a number of companies offering services related to septic tanks and cesspits in the district. Please see the local telephone directory for details.
However, if a septic tank or cesspit is causing a nuisance, please contact Environmental Health.