Blocked sewer: How can you tell if it's a public or private problem?

A blocked sewer can quickly become a nightmare, creating unpleasant odours and potential risks for your property. When such a problem occurs, it's crucial to determine whether it's a public or private concern. In this article, we'll give you some practical advice to help you identify the nature of the problem and know who to contact: the municipal services or the unblocking experts.

Signs of a blocked sewer:

Before deciding who to call, take a close look at the signs that indicate a blocked sewer. These signs may include:

  • Rising water in toilets, sinks or drains.
  • Persistent foul odours inside or outside your property.
  • Gurgling noises coming from the pipes.
  • Slow or stagnant water flow in sinks and baths.

If you notice these symptoms, it's likely that your sewer is blocked.

Communicating with neighbours

An essential step is to contact your neighbours to find out if they are also experiencing problems with blocked sewers. If several households are affected, this suggests a wider problem that may be the responsibility of municipal services. In this case, it's best to report the problem to your local council.

Check sewer access points

If the blockage only seems to affect your property, it's important to check nearby sewer access points. Lift the manhole covers on the pavement or in your garden to visually inspect the pipes. If you notice any signs of congestion or blockage, it's likely that the problem is your private responsibility.

Blocked private sewer manhole and blocked public sewer manhole: call your local council
Blocked private sewer manhole and blocked public sewer manhole: call your local council

Blocked private sewer: contact the Experts in unblocking 7 days a week on 04 67 24 14 13

If the blocked sewer problem is your private responsibility, it's time to contact the unblocking experts. Unblocking professionals have the skills, tools and techniques needed to effectively resolve blockages in private drains.

Débouchage D'égout Valras Plage
Débouchage D'égout Valras Plage

Blocked manhole cover: contact your local council

If you have confirmed that it is a public problem, contact the municipal services of your town or city. Report the problem, giving precise details of the location and symptoms observed. Municipal services are responsible for maintaining public sewers and will dispatch a team to resolve the problem.

Useful numbers if the public sewer is blocked :

  • Suez Environnement on-call service reserved for emergency interventions 0 977 401 139  24 hours a day.
  • Collective sanitation of Sète Agglo from Monday to Friday at 04 67 18 31 52.


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