Who do I contact about a blocked drain?

Is the blocked drain in your street or is it on your property?

This is an important question, since some drains are maintained by the local municipality; whilst other drains are your responsibility.

Your household waste water plumbing pipes connect into the municipality pipework. This usually occurs at the last manhole leaving your property.

Should a blockage occur in the pipes on your property, the liability is yours.

However, a blockage in your home could also be the result of a blockage on the council’s line. The best way to determine where the blockage is located, and who will be responsible, is to have a drain cleaning company clean your lines from your home through to the municipal line.

If they can see that the flow rate of water into the municipal line is obstructed, they they might conduct drain camera inspection to confirm that the blockage is located on the municipality pipework. 

Most drain cleaning specialists, will have a good working relationship with the municipal department responsible for keeping the drains clear. They will probably arrange to get the municipality workers to clean the drains faster than you will be able to, when you call the call centre and lodge a complaint.

This is because the municipal workers would be able to establish that the blockage is in fact a municipal problem; before they make the effort of getting to your property to clear the drain, only to learn that the blockage is not on the municipal line.

If you have the time and patience to call the municipality, here is their number and email address:

City of Cape Town call centre number 0860 103 089 or email contact.us@capetown.gov.za

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