Blocked drains, oil storage tanks, monitoring water quality, advice on septic tanks, treatment plants and soakaways. Report pollution in a ditch, pond or river.
For blocked road gullies, please contact the council’s highways maintenance section.
Yorkshire Water are responsible for sewers, and they should be contacted about any problems on Tel: 0345 1 24 24 24, or visit their website for further information.
Yorkshire Water (external website)
From 1 October 2016, responsibility for eligible private sewage pumping stations will also transfer to Yorkshire Water. Further details are provided in the following document.
Yorkshire Water - Sewage pumping stations fact sheet (pdf 1mb opens in new window)
The responsibility for unblocking a private drain usually lies with the owner of the property served by it. You may need to employ a drainage contractor and these can be found in your local telephone directory, or by an internet search. You are advised to get a few different quotes, and to speak to your neighbours as they may also be affected and be willing to share the cost.
The following pdf document gives further advice and information on private drainage problems.
Drainage frequently asked questions (pdf 80kb opens in new window)
Report water or drainage pollution
Any oil storage, such as tanks containing heating oil, diesel and waste oil, should be routinely checked and maintained to avoid the risk of causing pollution, through leaks and spills.
For larger oil storage on commercial sites, the tank may also need to comply with the Oil Storage Regulations. It is always a good idea to keep your domestic heating oil tank in good condition, and ideally it should be properly bunded (contained within a sealed area or unit), so that in the event of a leak, the oil will not soak away into the ground.
This can cause a great deal of damage to your property and the wider environment and can be very costly to clean up. As the owner you may be liable and even face prosecution if the oil pollutes groundwater or a nearby river.
You may wish to check with your home or business insurance policy to make sure you are covered for such incidents.
Further guidance on oil storage is available on the Environment Agency website:
Environment Agency - oil storage advice (external website)
The UK spill association have a website which lists accredited contractors who can give specialist advice and assistance for cleaning up oil and chemical spillages.
UK Spill contractors (external website)
We may sample private drinking water supplies, depending on the volume and usage. In general, the quality of rivers and bathing waters is monitored by the Environment Agency. However, where there is a risk from contaminated land we may arrange for samples to be taken as part of an investigation.
View environmental data and water quality information on the GOV.UK website.
Advice on whether or not you need to register a discharge from a septic tank or treatment plant and apply for a permit is available on the GOV.uk website.
GOV.UK - septic tanks and treatment plants (external website)
The Environment Agency has also produced an advice leaflet on discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants.
Environment Agency - advice on discharges from septic tanks and small sewage treatment plants (pdf 734kb opens in new window)
The council has produced the following pdf document to provide further useful advice and information on septic tanks, cesspools and soakaways, as well as flooding issues.
Advisory leaflet on septic tanks, soakaways and flooding (pdf 159kb opens in new window)
If you would like specific advice, please get in touch:
Tel: (01482) 396301
Yorkshire Water are now responsible for privately owned and operated sewage pumping stations which connect to the public sewer network and serve more than one property.
For further details on the transfer of private sewers please contact Yorkshire Water.
Yorkshire Water - transfer of sewage pumping stations (external website)
If you intend to build in an area where there is sensitive groundwater or near to a river or stream, you may need to consider impacts from the development on water quality. The potential impacts of pollution should always be considered at the planning stage for new development, and measures put in place to prevent unacceptable risks.
Further guidance is available on the GOV.UK website, including information on what developers need to consider when assessing these risks.
National Planning Practice Guidance - Water supply, wastewater and water quality (external website)
GOV.uk - Environment Agency Guiding Principles for land contamination (external website)
Groundwater in the East Riding is an important source of drinking water, and is protected by Source Protection Zones. The Environment Agency may be consulted on new development in areas which may have an impact on water quality. Sites which have been contaminated by historic industry may need to be cleaned up as part of the development.
Developers are responsible for good site management during construction, to prevent leaks and spills, and must ensure that new drainage plans have been approved and are appropriate for the type of development proposed.
Further advice on new drainage is available on the Yorkshire Water website.
Yorkshire Water - developer services (external website)