Sewer Blockages

Problems in the sewerage system generally occur within the pipes, stopping the flow of sewage away from your home.

The wastewater treatment works are designed to treat only degradable sewage. Therefore only degradable items should be placed do your toilet, sink and drains.
What can I put down the sink or drain?

Responsibility for the maintenance of this network of pipes is shared between you and Hunter Water. See our diagram to understand your sewer pipe responsibilities.

What to Do

If you are experiencing problems with your sewer such as gurgling noises, sinks and toilets are slow to drain or effluent is overflowing from your internal or external gully, please follow the steps below and then contact us if required.

Initial Steps

  • Locate your sewer shaft. This is a pipe that leads to the sewer main. It should be flush to the ground and the lid is approximately the size of a bread and butter plate. This will be located in either your front or back yard.
  • Is the sewer shaft full or overflowing? If your shaft is full or overflowing please contact us. You may need to unscrew or lift the lid of the shaft to check. If you feel any pressure when you are trying to unscrew or remove the lid, stop immediately and do not attempt to lift or remove the lid any further.

Further Steps

  • If the sewer shaft is clear and your internal drains are still blocked you will need to contact a licensed plumber to attend.

If you are unable to perform these checks or require further clarification please contact Hunter Water for support.

What if I call a plumber and the sewer blockage is in Hunter Water pipes

You should always refer to Hunter Water's website or contact us in the first instance.

If you arrange for a licensed plumber to attend your property prior to contacting us, they may be able to determine if there is a possible blockage within our wastewater system (Hunter Water owned asset), or within your internal pipework (customer owned asset).

If the blockage is suspected to be within our wastewater system, your licensed plumber should contact, or ask you to contact us. We will then attend to carry out the appropriate work.

If the work to determine the blockage was undertaken by a licensed plumber at your request, prior to your contact with Hunter Water to report a suspected blockage, you are responsible for these costs.

In the majority of circumstances, upon notification, Hunter Water will attend a property if the sewer inspection shaft is full or overflowing as this may indicate that there is a blockage in the sewer main or branch line.