THOUSANDS of homes and businesses in Hartlepool and east Durham will receive letters about ownership changes to the sewer system.
The changes will see many pipes that were previously under private responsibility switch to Northumbrian Water.
Those that will switch to Northumbrian Water are pipes that are outside a private boundary or those within it, but which are shared by other properties and connect to the public sewer.
Householders or landlords will still remain responsible for private drains serving their property within its boundary, as well as gutters and downpipes.
More than a million letters informing customers of the changes will be sent out from today.
The switch comes into effect on October 1 and will see Northumbrian Water’s responsibility almost double.
Customers do not need to take any action and Northumbrian Water does not expect customers to see any change to their bills for at least three years.
Mike Madine, Northumbrian Water sewerage manager, said: “Implementing this change is a huge job for the water company and good news for customers.
“Many more pipes will become our responsibility giving householders, businesses and landlords less to worry about.”