Sewer chokes

A sewer choke is a blockage in a wastewater pipe. They occur when there's something inside the pipe that stops it working properly. 

Blockages are usually caused:

  • by tree roots that have found a way into the pipes
  • when someone puts something down the toilet that it's not designed for. For example, children sometimes put soft toys down the toilet.

If you have a blockage in the private wastewater pipes on your property, call a licensed plumber.

If you think the problem is in our pipes, call us on 13 20 90. We'll ask you some questions, so we can work out:

  • what's causing the problem
  • where the problem is.

If we think the problem is in our pipes, we'll send someone out to have a look. We should be there within three hours. If the problem is in our wastewater system, we'll fix it. 

If we think the problem is in your pipes, we'll advise you to hire a licensed plumber to investigate the problem.

You can find out where our pipes are by buying a Service Location Diagram. You can also find out where your pipes are by buying a Sewerage Service Diagram. 

You can buy these diagrams at Sydney Water Tap in™ or through one of our Property Link brokers

If your licensed plumber finds that your private wastewater pipes are collapsed under a public road or public footpath and we verify that the collapse can’t be repaired without excavating, we'd like to help.

We may offer to repair the collapsed section of pipe at our cost if you meet the criteria (conditions apply). 

We can't reimburse you or your plumber for any plumbing costs related to this work.

For more information:

You can claim for reasonable out of pocket expenses if you're a:

  • licensed plumber and have found a blockage in our wastewater pipes
  • customer and have paid a licensed plumber who found a blockage in our wastewater pipes.
Don't forget to report the sewer choke
You can only make a claim if you've called us to tell us about the blockage and our crew have confirmed the problem was in our wastewater pipes.

We'll give you a job number, which you need to include on the claim form.

You can claim for out of pockets costs by:

  • completing the Sewer choke claim form
  • signing the form
  • attaching the original licensed plumber's invoice and timesheet
  • emailing or posting the form to us (the details are on the form).

We'll process your claim within eight weeks. If you make any mistakes or leave anything out, we'll return your claim to you so you can correct it.

If you submit false information, we'll send the information to the relevant authorities. 

Diagram showing tree roots breaking wastewater pipes

If you're planting trees near wastewater pipes, make sure you know which ones to avoid to prevent damage to your pipes.