Who is responsible for a blocked sewer drain?

A blocked sewer line can very quickly get really unpleasant so it’s important to get repairs or drain clearing started as soon as possible.

The responsibility for a blocked sewer pipe falls into two categories:

  • the property owner
  • the local council or wastewater authority.

Property owner

The property owner is responsible for any blockages or problems in the plumbing systems from the sewer connection point up to and including drains and pipes in, under, and around your home.

Council or Wastewater Authority

The local council or wastewater authority is responsible for the water meter, pipes, and drains leading away from the property. They take care of unclogging the main sewer line if problems arise. They also cover the stormwater network from your property boundary.

Drain Camera

How to find the blockage?

Finding the location of the blockage is crucial to getting repairs done, however, in most blocked sewer pipe situations a quick and immediate solution is the top priority. No one wants to deal with overflowing sewer for longer than they have to.

To get this process started as soon as possible and avoid a messy situation, as well as a potential public health issue, most councils or wastewater authorities have a claims process which allows you or your plumber to claim back expenses for emergency plumbing work carried out on a mains sewer drain.

Each region will have a slightly different procedure, your local plumber will be able to provide specific advice.

The job of locating the source of the sewer clog can be carried out by your drainage plumber using a specially designed CCTV drain camera. This camera allows your plumber to find the blockage as well as providing a picture of what is causing the problem.

Using this information your drain specialist can provide expert advice on who is responsible as well as the recommended repairs.

How to report a blocked mains sewer drain

Residents can report a suspected blockage in the mains sewer drain throughout South East Queensland in the following ways:

Please note - this refers to those drains, pipes or inspection points outside your property or other private property, ie the other side of the sewer connection point.


Brisbane residents can call Queensland Urban Utilities on 13 23 64 - 24 hours a day

More information can be found - urbanutilities.com.au

Gold Coast

Gold Coast residents can report a leak to the City of Gold Coast - 07 5667 5801 or 1300 000 928

More information can be found - goldcoast.qld.gov.au

Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast residents can report a mains sewer problem to Unit Water - 1300 086 489 - 24 hours.

More information can be found - unitywater.com


Ipswich residents report to Queensland Urban Utilities on 13 23 64 - 24 hours a day

More information can be found - urbanutilities.com.au


Toowoomba residents report mains sewer drain blockages to Toowoomba Region - 131 872

More information can be found - tr.qld.gov.au

Blocked sewer help

Contact Reline Solutions team of specialist drain plumbers for drain clearing services in your area on 0403 355 550.

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