HOUSEHOLDERS in Huddersfield could be spared costly sewer pipe repair bills.

New legislation due later this year will mean Yorkshire Water will pick up the bill.

But the cost will be passed on to customers, with average water bills expected to go up between £3 and £14 a year.

The company will on October 1 become responsible for an additional 22,000 kilometres of private sewers across the county. Water companies have always been responsible for public sewers, with individual home owners responsible for the sewers and drains on their own private property.

This has caused confusion with customers who are often left wondering where their ownership begins and what they are required to repair if things go wrong.

Now the majority of these repairs will fall under Yorkshire Water’s jurisdiction.

Darroch Baker, project manager at Yorkshire Water said: “When the law comes into force on October 1 it will be good news for customers as they will now have clarity over an issue that for many years has caused a degree of confusion.

“Customers have often been required to pay for repairs to public highways if sewer pipes running under them are their responsibility, likewise customers who share sewer pipes with their neighbours have also had to share the cost of any problems with the pipes.

“What the new law does is make these particular sections of pipe our responsibility.”

Over the next four weeks, every customer in the Yorkshire region will be receiving a letter from Yorkshire Water explaining the change in legislation and what this will mean to them.