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Blocked drains

Preventing blocked drains

You can help stop drains and sewers becoming blocked or damaged.

Dispose of waste properly

When substances other than waste water are flushed down the drain, this can cause problems. For example, fats and oils can solidify and cause smells. The following items mustn't be flushed down the drain:

  • waste food
  • paints and solvents
  • fats, oils and greases
  • disposable nappies and wipes
  • condoms
  • sanitary products
  • bandages and dressings
  • animal waste
  • cotton wool and cotton buds
  • razor blades 
  • fuel

Take care with building work

Significant alterations to a drainage system may require a building warrant; please contact our Building Standards service if you need more information.

When you are undertaking work to repair, reconstruct or change the course of a drain, you should:

  • always allow a working zone around drains for repairs and maintenance
  • make sure building work doesn't damage the drain or sewer by direct contact with pipe work
  • make sure you don't displace surrounding material that supports and protects the pipe work
  • Be careful making new connections to drains

Foul and surface water drains and sewers are usually separate systems, particularly for houses built in suburban areas after 1950.

Be careful to connect to the correct drain or sewer if:

  • you make a new connection
  • you change the plumbing arrangements of your house (for example, the outflow from a washing machine)

If you put foul matter into a surface water drain, you will cause pollution and might be prosecuted. If you connect surface water drains to a foul sewer, you might contribute to sewer flooding.

You need to notify Scottish Water if you intend to connect to any of the sewers or drains for which they are responsible.

Report fly-tipping

Serious flooding can be caused by fly-tipping in or around streams and culverts.