Sewerage companies must maintain private sewers
The maintenance of private sewers and lateral drains in Wales will be the responsibility of water and sewerage companies not householders from October 2011.
This change to current water policy is the result of a public consultation carried out by the Environment Agency in Wales.
Environment minister, Jane Davidson, said: "We are taking action to bring greater clarity and fairness to the management of sewerage and drainage systems in Wales.
"The intention is that from October 2011 responsibility for private sewers and lateral drains will lie with water and sewerage companies rather than with individual householders.
"This is great news for householders and will remove an unwelcome and often unknown liability."
This is part of a wider update on water policy which has been published in the revised Water Policy Statement.
The regulations are now being drafted by the Assembly Government and are expected to be in place in October this year.
The minister said charging for water services were a key priority for future policy.
She said: "We will be consulting on proposals to ensure fair and effective methods of charging for water services that will drive up efficiencies, reduce debt and deliver benefits to customers while protecting vulnerable groups."
The full policy is outlined on the Welsh Assembly Government website. Alison Brown