Show me how to check my property

Follow this checklist to find out if you have misconnected drains.  The more ‘yes’ answers, the more likely you will be to have a misconnection.

You may be able to answer the questions by simply looking around your property without using ladders or lifting drain covers outside.  Don’t put your safety at risk and if necessary seek professional advice.

1. Was your house or property built after the 1920s?

Consider the age of your property and any surrounding properties. If built before 1920, it’s most likely to have 'combined' drainage where all wastewater and rain water share a sewer that drains to the sewage works. If built later it’s highly likely to be on a 'separate' sewerage system with a surface water sewer for rainwater draining directly into a local river or beach. Wastewater pipes misconnected to surface water sewers cause pollution. Click on the picture or read more here to find out more.

2. Have there been changes to the original drainage?

Check on the number of manholes and where the drains run.  New manholes may mean the drainage has been altered.  Where necessary seek professional help to find out where drainage is going, and test with dyes if needed. Click on the picture or here to find out more.

3. Have there been any extensions or alterations, new bathrooms, toilets or kitchen installed?

When building alterations are undertaken, sinks, baths, showers, toilets and appliances can be plumbed incorrectly into the nearest available pipe or drain.  Is there a macerator toilet pump installed?  These can discharge anywhere and may easily be wrongly connected into surface water drains causing pollution. Click on the picture or here to find out more.

4. Are any pipes connected to rainwater downpipes?

Look at the outside of your property.  Check all roof downpipes and guttering for any additional connections on all floors. Click on the picture or here to find out more

5. Do you have an outside toilet or appliances in garages, sheds or outbuildings?

Check garages, balconies, sheds and outbuildings.  If washing machines and sinks are installed away from the main house, they may be wrongly connected to clean water drains causing pollution. Click on the picture or here  to find out more.