Blocked drains/gullies

How we maintain gullies

Highways’ road gullies, in identified Critical Drainage Areas (CDAs) of the borough, are cleaned annually by a cleansing vehicle.

Any reported blockages of gullies, through our Our Haringey/Love Clean Streets app, officers’ regular highways inspections or by the public and Councillors, are subsequently cleaned by our highways contractor as a part of a reactive gully maintenance programme.

Generally, road gullies connect to Thames Water sewers, which are either surface water only or are combined sewers that carry surface water and foul drainage. The effectiveness of the gullies, particularly in intensive storms, is dependent upon the capacity of the Thames Water Sewers.

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How do I know if it is my drain that is blocked?

If your drain is blocked you will usually know because:

  • Your waste water will stop going away when you flush the toilet or empty a sink/bath
  • Private gullies (those outside your home, but still on your property) will overflow
  • There will also probably be a smell

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Blocked drains to private properties

It is the responsibility of the owner to maintain and clear a private drain. If a private drain is blocked, the council can serve a notice on the owner giving them 48 hours to clear it.

If the drain is not cleared within 48 hours, the council will undertake the work in default. The owner will be charged the contract cost plus establishment charges of 30%.

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Cyclical gully cleansing programme

We are working on our annual borough-wide cyclical gully cleansing programme, for completion by 31 March 2023.

We will carry out cleansing works across several wards in February and March to address gullies that we were unable to clean, for various reasons, during the cyclical cleansing works programme. This will complete the 2022/23 cyclical gully cleansing programme.

Further works will require planning and some parking suspensions. To enable these works to be carried out, suspension boards will be placed at those locations in advance of the proposed works.

When reporting a blocked gully, please consider that we are likely to put a parking suspension in place before the work can be carried out.

As part of this cleansing programme, we have carried out several improvements and maintenance works to our highways drainage system, and we are developing a future programme to maximise the effectiveness of the gully cleansing operation.

This programme will start before the summer of 2023 and the cleansing will be prioritised to enable us to efficiently target our gully cleansing works. For example, areas with recorded floods and on main roads will get cleansed more often than other areas where there are no gully drainage issues.

Any emergency gully cleansing will carry on throughout the year, working in parallel with the cleansing programme.

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Report a problem

If you report a drain or gully that may be blocked or broken using My Account, you'll be able to view the progress of your report:

Report a blocked drain through My Account

If you don't require updates on progress you can report these issues to us anonymously without registering:

Report a blocked drain as a guest

What happens once I have submitted the report?

We will inspect the problem within two working days and decide how urgently it needs to be fixed.

How long should it take?

Defects that are hazardous or serious will be prioritised. Hazardous defects will be repaired within 24 hours. Serious defects will be repaired within 7 days. We will aim to repair other defects that are not serious or hazardous within 28 working days, but we do not have the resources to repair every defect within that timescale and so will prioritise the more serious and potentially dangerous defects.

How will I be kept up to date?

We will contact you by email to let you know the result of the inspection and again when the repair has been completed.

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How do I report a blocked public sewer?

Thames Water looks after the network of public sewers in the surrounding areas.

If you believe that a public sewer is blocked, please contact Thames Water on 0845 920 0800.

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Page last updated:

February 6, 2023

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