Where Can I Find Drainage Plans for My House?

Keith Baker

By Keith Baker

Last Updated on May, 2024

Right under your feet, there is a huge endless maze of drains and pipelines designed to collect and transport water and sewage from your home. 

Well, is it that important? YES, very much. It is extremely important for your daily life. It is gonna be pretty nasty without a drainage system! 

But it is mostly out of our sight and we forget its existence too. It comes to our mind only when planning an extension or when buying and selling your property. However, knowing a detailed map of the drainage plan of your property is very important. Why? Let’s find out!

Quick Summary

  • The drainage plan can be found by contacting the previous owner, the local water authority, the local council, or the development company. If none of these options work, a CCTV drainage survey can be done.
  • Knowing the drainage plan of your property is important for various reasons, including locating and repairing blocked or broken drains, planning extensions or modifications, obtaining planning permission, and knowing where private and shared drains lead.
  • The drainage plan will contain information such as the location of all drains on the property, their construction details, discharge points, and the location of treatment plants or septic tanks. The information can also be helpful in diagnosing and addressing drain-related issues.

Why Do You Need to Find Your Drainage Plans?

a cleaner is trying to clean a blocked drain

The primary reason why you need to know your property’s drainage plans is to basically know where all your drains lead. Apart from that, knowing the plan will help you locate a blocked or broken drain that you need to get repaired. 

Like I mentioned earlier it is also important when you are planning an extension or adding a structure.

Also, if you need drainage plans get planning permission from your local council. Having your drainage plan is also essential when you are planning to apply for an Environmental Permit or consent to discharge to a watercourse.

And especially when you are buying a new property make sure you get the latest drainage plan with up-to-date information. Knowing where and how the drains are connected can help you with price negotiations as well.

Remember, that when you are selling your property which has a private drainage system, you must provide this information to the new owner. 

Where Can You Find the Drainage for Your Property?

Finding your main drain is not going to be that tough in most cases. Head outside of your house and look for a drain cover. If you manage to find it, kudos! That is the main drain that connects and transports your wastewater to the public drainage system, from your property. 

Okay now, how are you going to find the rest of the other drains in your property’s drainage plans? 

You can contact several individuals or associations to get this information, which includes the previous property owner, the local water authority, the local council and more.

From Previous Owner

The easiest place to start is by asking the previous property owner. They are more likely to have this information in hand, especially if they have carried out any work on the property, like extensions or installations and gotten building permits. 

If you don’t have the contact details of the previous owner, you can find them in the house deeds that you received during the purchase. But still, if you are not able to find the contact information of your previous owner, there are other options you can opt for.

From the Local Water Authority

Your local water authority also might have the drainage plans or a drainage map of your property, if there have been any past modifications or requests made to the property. To access this information, you will have to pay an administration fee to the local water authority. 

But typically, you will be able to get the information related ONLY to public and lateral drains which the local water authority manages. It is worth noting that these plans will not contain information regarding the private drains on your house. 

From the Local Council

The local council will almost certainly have the relevant information regarding your property’s drainage system. And you can obtain this information for a very small fee. However, the issue is that the information they provide will be mostly outdated and inaccurate.

It is worth noting that any modifications or new drains that have been added to the drainage system will not be included in the information you get from the local council. Determining the drainage system is much harder if your property is older, making this a less reliable option. 

From Development Company

If your property is recently built or new, you can try to contact your development company. They would have included a detailed drainage plan drawn by an architect in the initial drawings. You can get a detailed and current drainage plan from them.

However, finding an up-to-date drainage plan can be hard if your property has private drains. This is because private drains are not expected to be lodged with any official body. 

In such a case, having a private drain system is the only exception. You will have drainage plans provided by the sewage company showing where treatment plants, effluent tanks or septic tanks are located in your property.

If I Can’t Find the Drainage Plans, What Can I Do?

a drain cleaner is surveying a drain using CCTV

Now, if all these options that I told you above are not viable and you are unable to find the current drainage plan of your property, the next best option is to get new drainage plans drawn up. You can do this with a CCTV drainage survey. 

CCTV Drainage Survey 

A CCTV drainage survey involves mapping out the drainage system of your property and establishing its exact layout. Performing this drain survey is also rather easily done by drainage specialists and can be done without any significant excavations on your property.

This will be done by inserting a high-tech camera probe into all the drains in your house, which will be used to examine the internal areas of all the pipes in detail. As the camera travels through the drains, live footage will be recorded. 

These cameras come with LEDs that light up to capture clear colour pictures even in the darkness. They are extremely helpful to capture all the details. 

This drain survey can be completed in a few minutes. By the end of the survey, you will have a new drainage plan drawn with an effective and detailed diagnosis of any present problems and future concerns. With the help of the video recorded, a technical report with a lasting layout of your property’s drainage system.

Speaking about the prices, a CCTV drain survey can cost anywhere between £100 to £400. You can check out more about CCTV drain survey service here

What Information Will You Find in Your Drainage Plan?

a drain cleaner is surveying a drain using CCTV image 2

A proper complete drainage plan will show you exactly where all the drains on your property are located.

The following information will be included in the drainage plans for your property:

  • A comprehensive layout with all the drains on your property
    • All-access points
    • Pipes’s diameter and construction details 
  • Discharge points of your property
  • Any onsite effluent tanks present
  • Location of any septic tank or treatment plant 
  • Location of any soakaway present with construction and depth details
  • Location of the main water supply 
  • Where any lateral drains and drain covers are located
  • Location of bunded areas and their capacity 
  • Where the foul water pipes are located
  • Location of spill kits 
  • Location of inspection chambers
  • Location of products and waste storage areas 

Note: Depending on the relevance to your property some of the above information might be missing and you might find some additional information too. 

Conclusion

So with all that being said, even though the drainage system is always hidden under your feet, it is always important to know the plan.

You need it when performing extensions in your property when buying a new property or even if there is some problem with your pipes and to perform drain repairs

You can do this in a few ways which include contacting your previous owner, the local water authority, the local council or your development company. 

But if none of these options works out for you, the next option is to get a CCTV drainage survey done. This can cost you some money but will get you the current layout of the entire drainage plan of your property.

FAQs

Drainage plans are not typically included in house deeds; these documents usually only contain property-related information and details about previous owners. For drainage plans, contacting the previous owners is advised.

When requesting drain plans from the local council, you may face limitations such as receiving outdated and inaccurate information, especially since updates might not have been made post the 2011 law change.

A standard house generally has one main drain that connects all wastewater sources like bathtubs, toilets, sinks, and washing machines to the public sewage system managed by the local water authority.

To determine if your drain is shared, start by asking your neighbor; they might know if there is a shared drain among the properties. If they are unsure, contact your local water authority or sewage company for a drainage map of your property, which will show any shared drains.

A primary reason why you are searching for your drainage plan is because you are having problems with your drainage systems. There would be several reasons for this, which includes:

  • Water backing up when flushing toilets
  • Slow running drains
  • Clogged drains
  • Bad odour coming from drains
  • Toilets not flushing
  • Bubbles forming near the drains
  • When planning extensions or modifications to your property
  • Buying or selling your property
  • Building over the existing drainage system

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