Surface water drainage
Surface water is the water that falls as rain on your property and is collected through your drains and gutters.
Surface water drainage charges are for the removal of this water, protecting your property from damage.
Our water drainage charges
Our charges include the cost of removing two different types of waste water:
- Foul water - waste water from cooking, cleaning, toilets, baths, showers, etc
- Surface water - water that drains from roofs, driveways, paths, etc
Where surface water from any part of your property drains to a public sewer you must pay full charges. However, if you can show that no surface water or groundwater from your property drains to a public sewer (directly or indirectly) you can apply to pay a lower sewerage charge.
If your property is part of a building (eg a flat) and the building itself is connected to the public sewer for the removal of surface water, you'll not be entitled to claim a reduction in charges.
Where does rainwater go?
For most customers, the rain that falls onto their property drains, as surface water, to the public sewer. There are a very small number of properties where none of the surface water drains to the public sewer but if yours doesn't, you can claim a lower sewerage charge.
Before claiming a rebate, please investigate if your surface water drains to a watercourse, stream, river or soakaway (buried pit in the ground where water gradually seeps away).
Please also examine your external pipework - this will usually show that the drainpipe from your gutter eventually discharges to the same drain as the waste water from your kitchen or toilets.
Please note if you have a rainwater harvesting system fitted at your property and any water used from this system eventually returns to the public sewer, you will not qualify for a reduction in your charges. (eg/ when the water collected is used to flush the toilet).
How can I claim a lower sewerage charge?
If you can demonstrate that no surface water from your property drains to a public sewer, you can download an application form and send us an accurate plan of your property. The scale needs to be big enough to show any roads, footpaths or other properties near your property, your properties boundary, the public sewer and your connection to it. It also needs to show the way surface water drains from your property, including gullies, manholes, inspection chambers, underground drainage pipes and areas where water soaks into the ground.
Please remember that you're still liable for surface water drainage charges if your property discharges to one of our sewers that's for surface water only. If you successfully claim a rebate you must also inform us if your drainage arrangements change.
Cancellation of surface water drainage charge form (PDF 681kb)
To help you complete your application form we've provided an example plan.
Download example of surface water drainage application form (PDF 68kb)
What date will the lower sewerage charge apply from?
The new charge will apply with effect from 1 April of the financial year in which we receive your application. For example, if we receive your application in January 2012 the reduced charge will apply with effect from 1 April 2011.
Why can't the lower sewerage charge be backdated?
Since April 2000 we've provided information on all bills and in the annual customer guide detailing the reduction and how to apply for it. The onus is therefore on you to let us know if your property isn't connected for this service.
No rebates are backdated for any customer beyond the start of the financial year in which their application is received.
For more information on this
please visit Ofwat's website.