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Frequently asked questions

Here's a list of the most frequently asked questions about Developer Services.

Washing apples

General

What application do I need?

Unsure which application you need? Take a look at our list of services:

I’m a homeowner/single-property developer

I’m a large developer

I’m a self-lay provider (SLP)

I’m a new appointee or variant (NAV)

If you’re still unsure, fill out our simple questionnaire to find out what form to fill in and what to do next.

Who’s responsible for my property’s pipes?

Water

As the property owner, you’re responsible for all the water pipework in the building and up to the property boundary (where the end of your garden meets the pavement, for example).

We’re responsible for the pipework and the water mains in the public road outside your property boundary.

Please note: Where your water supply is fed from a YW Main pipe in a neighbouring street, supply pipes under a highway/public footpath are still the customer responsibility to maintain.

 

Sewerage

As the property owner, you’re responsible for all the pipes inside the building and any outdoor guttering or pipes attached to the property. You’re also responsible for the section of pipe that goes into the ground, either directly or into a gully close to the property, until it reaches a shared drainage pipe or public sewer.

We’re responsible for the public sewer network, including any shared drainage pipes on your land that flow into a public sewer and any lateral drains outside your property boundary which flow into a public sewer.

Learn more about pipework responsibility here

How do I contact Developer Services?

Call us

Give us a call on 0345 1 20 84 82

(Choose option 1 for sewerage enquiries or option 2 for water enquiries)

Email us

Water connections: wbu.service.centre@yorkshirewater.co.uk

Water mains: newmains@yorkshirewater.co.uk

Sewerage: technical.sewerage@yorkshirewater.co.uk

NAVs: network.access@yorkshirewater.co.uk

 

Send us a general enquiry 

Log in to our portal to send us a general enquiry online

 

Our opening hours are 8am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (except for weekends and bank holidays).

Find more ways to contact Developer Services

What are your levels of service?

Water UK sets the minimum levels of service that all water companies must meet when providing a range of essential services for new developments. These cover the deliverables for each service and the timeframes we are expected to complete the work in.

What is a site location plan and a site layout plan?

For most Developer Services applications, you’ll need to provide a site location plan and sometimes, a site layout plan, so we know where your site is and what’s there.

 

Site location plan

A site location plan shows where your property or site is in relation to the surrounding area. It should include a clearly defined boundary, street/road names, other nearby properties, a north arrow and the scale (typically 1:1250 or 1:2500 for larger sites).

 

Site layout plan

A site layout plan includes more detail about the layout of the site, including existing and proposed roads, buildings, ground levels and any existing water/sewerage network assets that you’re aware of which may affect your proposals.

Our requirements for site location plans and site layout plans depend on the type of application you’re making. These requirements are laid out in the relevant application form.

You might also want to take a look at the Planning Portal for more guidance about site plans.

Do you do all the pipe laying and connection work?

No, it’s important to know that when it comes to water and sewerage works:

  • Some work must be done by Yorkshire Water. This is generally anything that could put the integrity of our existing networks and the public supply at risk if done by anyone else.
  • Some work must be done by a competent contractor. For example, you need to hire a competent contractor to lay a water supply pipe inside the boundary of your property. You must also hire a competent contractor to lay new, or replace existing, sewers or to make new sewer connections either in private or public land.
  • Some work can be done by either Yorkshire Water or a competent contractor. For example, you can hire an accredited self-lay provider (SLP) to install a new water main and water connections to serve a development, subject to our acceptance. You can also approach us directly to install the new main and connections.

Please be aware that no connections should be made to the public water or sewer networks without our approval. If the work you’re planning crosses into third-party land, you’ll also need to get the consent of the affected landowner before starting the works.

Where can I find the public mains/sewer records?

If you want to see the public mains or sewer records in or around your property, there are three ways to do this:

  1. Book an appointment at our offices to view our records for free.
  2. Visit your local council offices where our records are also available to view for free.
  3. Order a copy of our records for a charge.

Learn more about our pipe and sewer records

What is the Water Industry Act and why is it important?

The Water Industry Act 1991 is an act of UK legislation that sets out our duties to you with respect to water supply and sewerage. Most of the services we provide as a water company are governed by the Act, including our Developer Services, and that’s why we sometimes reference important sections of it.

Here’s a list of sections of the Act that directly relate to Developer Services:

Water:

Sewerage:

Water services

How do I get a new water connection?

Whether you need a brand-new water connection or a replacement connection, you’ll need to submit a water connection application. We’ll assess your application and provide you with a quote for the work we need to do to get you connected.

The water connections page on our website explains the process step by step and includes all of the application forms you’ll need to submit.

Who can carry out new water connections?

If you need a new water connection, any of the providers below can help you.

 

Yorkshire Water

If you’re building a single property or a small development (fewer than six properties, for example), we can provide water connections to our existing water main network. We can also provide new water mains and connections if you’re working on a larger development or developing in an area where there’s no existing main. We will take ownership of any new water assets installed in the public highway once the work is complete.

 

Self-lay providers (SLPs)

You can use an accredited self-lay provider (SLP) to design and install new water mains and water service connections, subject to our acceptance. When the work is completed and confirmed to meet our standards, we’ll adopt the new water mains as public assets. Adoption agreements between Yorkshire Water and third-party self-lay providers are governed by Ofwat’s Codes for Adoption.

SLPs must be accredited under the Water Industry Registration Scheme (WIRS). You can find a full list of accredited SLPs on Lloyd’s Register.

There are certain minimum requirements we expect SLPs to follow when planning, designing and constructing new water mains and connections. You can learn more about the self-lay process here.

 

New appointees and variants (NAVs)

New appointees and variants (NAVs) are smaller water companies appointed by Ofwat to provide water and/or sewerage services in an area previously served by one regional water company.

If you’re developing on land that isn’t served by existing mains and/or sewers, you can approach a NAV to provide you with new connection services. The NAV would take ownership of your water and/or sewerage infrastructure instead of Yorkshire Water and would have exactly the same duties and responsibilities to you as we would. You can find a full list of licensed NAVs here.

Do I need a contaminated land assessment?

If you’re developing on greenfield land or land that has only previously been used for housing, you don’t need to worry about getting a contamination assessment done.

If you’re developing on brownfield land that has previously been used for anything other than just housing, you’ll need to arrange a contamination assessment to be carried out by a qualified third-party provider. This is so we can verify there are no chemicals in the soil that might affect our pipes and fittings.

Please read the Water UK contaminated land assessment guidance for further details. The guidance includes a risk assessment form that will need to be completed as part of the contamination assessment. You may need to provide a copy of this when you apply to Yorkshire Water for new connection services.

How do I get my private water pipe installed?

Before we can get you connected to our water network, you’ll need to arrange the installation of a water supply pipe within your property boundary. While you can install private pipework yourself, we recommend using a WaterSafe-approved plumber to make sure it’s done right.

We’ll send you an information pack with the quote for your water connection(s) explaining what you need to do.

Visit our water connections page for more information on the 5 simple steps to getting a new connection.

Do I need to disinfect new pipework I’ve installed?

If you’re laying a new water main under a self-lay agreement and/or installing any service pipes that are above 50mm in diameter and 6m or above in length, you must arrange chlorination of the relevant pipework (to standards BS 8558 and BS EN 806) and submit a chlorination certificate. You’ll also need to make sure that appropriate samples are collected and UKAS-accredited analysis is carried out. You’ll need to arrange and pay for the chlorination and analysis yourself.

We cannot adopt any self-laid water main or large-diameter service pipe into our network, or connect any large-diameter service pipe you’ve laid, until your UKAS-approved analytical results and chlorination certificate have been checked and approved.

Do I need a new water main?

The most common reasons for needing a new water main are:

  • You’re developing in an area where there’s no existing main
  • The nearest available main won’t provide enough water at sufficient pressure to supply your development

If you’re building a new road that will be adopted and maintained by the local council, you’ll probably need a new water main. This is because your development is likely to be large enough that it won’t be sufficiently supplied by the existing network.

One way to confirm at the earliest opportunity whether you need a new water main or not is to send us a pre-planning enquiry before you start planning your development.

Can I move a public water main?

New buildings and developments must be kept to a safe distance from existing public water mains. If there’s a live main in the way of your proposed development, the easiest way around this is to change your proposal to avoid the existing main. If this isn’t possible, we may be able to divert or remove the main for you.

If you’re proposing to lower the level of the ground in which an existing main is laid, we may need to lower or divert the main to make sure it’s at the right depth.

You’ll need to apply for a water main diversion / disconnection. When we review your application, we’ll determine if the main needs to be diverted around your development or whether it is no longer in use and can be disconnected, decommissioned and abandoned entirely.

Can I come off a shared water supply?

Yes, we’ll take care of it. If you’re on a shared supply – a pipe that serves you and your neighbours – you can apply to come off onto an independent supply. You might want to come off a shared supply if you’re looking to increase the water pressure to your home, for example. You’ll need to submit an application to come off a shared supply, which you can find on our water connections page, in the ‘Get connected’ section.

How do I get a temporary water supply?

If you need a temporary supply of water for construction activities on a building site, we can help. You can request a temporary supply as part of your application for a water connection to an existing main, or as part of an application to requisition or self-lay a new water main. Alternatively, you can apply for a temporary supply of building water separately in the ‘Get connected’ section of our water connections page.

Just so you know, there must be an existing water main in the vicinity of your site for us to provide a temporary supply of building water.

How can I get my lead pipe replaced?

If your home is supplied by a lead pipe, we’ll replace the pipework in the public highway under our lead renewal scheme. This covers the lead pipework from the public water main in your street up to the boundary of your property.

You are responsible for arranging the replacement of the lead pipework within your property boundary. Before you do that, we recommend reading the guidance on lead pipe replacement on our website where you’ll also find our lead pipe replacement application form. As part of your application, you’ll need to provide us with a photo of the lead pipe in your home so we can confirm it’s lead.

Can I connect a new property to next door’s water pipe?

No – it’s a legal requirement under the Water Industry Act 1991 for separately occupied properties to be supplied by a separate service pipe. Connecting to your neighbour’s water pipe is considered an illegal connection that may put the local water supply and quality at risk and result in a costly fine.

How do I get my water disconnected?

If you no longer need a water supply, for example if you’re demolishing a property, you can apply for us to permanently disconnect your water supply from the network. There is no application fee and the disconnection itself is also free of charge. Just keep in mind that this is a permanent disconnection; if you later need to restore the water supply, you’ll have to apply and pay for a brand-new water connection.

If you only need the water supply to be temporarily turned off, or you’re unsure if you need a permanent disconnection, please contact us and we’ll talk you through it.

What are your design and construction standards for self-lay providers?

There are certain minimum requirements that we expect self-lay providers (SLPs) to follow when planning, designing and installing new water mains and service connections. These are laid out in our Design and Construction Specification (DCS), which you can find on our self-lay page.

Our DCS is based on Appendix D of the Water Sector Guidance contained within Ofwat’s Codes for Adoption. The Codes were created to help standardise specifications, legal agreements and asset adoption processes across the water and sewerage sector in England. They are reviewed and updated regularly by a panel of industry experts.

Sewerage services

How do I get a new sewer connection?

If you’re building a new property or extension that requires a connection to the public sewer, you’ll need to apply for permission to carry out the connection. We’ll assess your application and issue an approval or a letter explaining our objections if we have any. It’s important to remember that we don’t make the connection ourselves – except in very rare circumstances determined on a case-by-case basis – so you’ll need to appoint your own competent drainage contractor to carry out this work.

There’s a sewerage connections page on our website that explains this process step by step, including the application form you need to submit and a handy guide.

Many houses have separate drainage systems for foul water and surface water. It’s crucial that these drainage systems are connected to the correct parts of our public sewer network. Misconnections can cause foul water to flow from your pipes or drainage system into our rivers and streams, and could land you with a costly fine.

Find out more about misconnections and how to prevent them

Can I build over a public sewer?

If there’s a public sewer or shared drainage within 3 metres of where you’re proposing to build, you’ll need our consent before you can start the work. This is so we can protect the sewer and building from possible damage and make sure access to the public sewer isn’t affected.

For an upfront fee, you can make a sewer build-over enquiry before you apply for Building Regulations approval and we’ll provide you with a desktop study to help you understand if your building plans will be affected by the public sewer system. For an additional cost, we can also visit your address to do an inspection if you need it.

Sometimes, building over a sewer isn’t possible. In this case, you may want to consider changing your building plan to avoid the build-over, or you may be able to divert the sewer system, subject to our approval. We’ll let you know what your options are when we respond to your initial build-over enquiry.

Can I move a public sewer?

If there’s a public sewer or lateral drain crossing your development site, you may be able to get it altered or diverted. This is covered under section 185 (S185) of the Water Industry Act 1991 and includes everything from minor alterations to major diversions of the public sewer system.

A minor sewer alteration may be needed for a shared drainage system that’s located within your land. For example, you may need to move a manhole or inspection chamber to make way for a home extension. The pipe you’re proposing to alter should be no bigger than 225mm in diameter, less than 3m in depth and no more than 20m in length. This would generally come to light as a result of a sewer build-over enquiry or consultation with your local Building Control inspector.

If a minor alteration is needed for your development to go ahead, we’ll send you an application / agreement to complete and sign. You’ll then need to arrange for a competent drainage contractor to carry out the alteration works once you’ve received our approval.

If a public sewer crosses your development site, you can apply to make a reasonable diversion of it. There’s a sewer diversions page on our website that explains this process in more detail, including the application forms and supporting documents you need to submit.

More complex diversions involving larger public sewers that are critical to our network need to be carried out by us – these are known as ‘Yorkshire Water led’ major sewer diversions. You can find more information about how to apply for a Yorkshire Water led diversion on our capital schemes page.

What’s the difference between a drain, a lateral drain and a sewer?

Drains

A drain is a pipe that serves just your property. It takes foul water and/or surface water away from your property before connecting to a lateral drain or public sewer downstream.

 

Lateral drains

The length of drain serving your home that is located outside of your property boundary is called a lateral drain. It still just serves your home but is located in someone else’s land downstream of your boundary. It can be located in the public highway, but it may cross through your neighbour’s land before reaching the public sewer network.

 

Sewers

A sewer collects foul water and/or surface water from the drains of multiple properties and carries it, via the sewer network, to a disposal point or treatment facility. Most sewers in Yorkshire are owned and maintained by Yorkshire Water as part of the public sewer network, although there are still many privately owned sewers.

Is there a sewer within my property boundary?

There are a number of ways you can check what sewerage pipes may be within your property boundary:

  • Check your property’s deeds
  • Ask your local council for any drainage plans that may be registered under your property
  • Check with your builder, architect, estate agent or the previous owner for any information about the property’s drains
  • Have a look around the property itself for tell-tale signs (for example, a manhole cover, access point or shared gully within your property boundary)
  • Check with your next-door neighbour if their drainage system discharges into the system within your land
  • View our public sewer records – just be aware these only show the sewers owned and maintained by Yorkshire Water, and are unlikely to show any drains within your property boundary
  • Get a drainage survey done by a competent drainage contractor.
What if I find a sewer after I start building?

If you start your building work and find lateral drains or sewers that you weren’t previously aware of, please stop your work and email technical.sewerage@yorkshirewater.co.uk at the earliest opportunity. Even if we’ve already given you our approval to go ahead with the works, we’ll still need to know about any differences to the sewerage system that you find while working on your development. Please provide your customer reference number when you send the details through to us.

What if my sewerage application isn’t accepted?

If we’ve assessed your sewerage application and decided that we can’t accept your proposal, we’ll explain our objections in our response to you. These objections are based on our responsibility to protect the integrity of our networks and safeguard public health and the environment.

If we haven’t accepted your initial sewerage proposal, you’ll need to take our comments back to your building project designer for review. There may be different options available to you, depending on our objections. For instance, you may be able to make a change to your design plans that we would find acceptable. Alternatively, you might need to propose an alteration or reasonable diversion of the existing sewer network.

How do I get new or existing sewers adopted?

If you’re planning to build a new sewer network for a development site, or you own existing private sewers, you’ll need to apply for an Agreement to transfer ownership and responsibility of your sewer system to us, subject to our acceptance.

There’s a sewer adoptions page on our website that explains these processes in more detail and includes all the application forms, supporting documents and guidance you need.

The adoption of new sewers and sewerage assets is covered by section 104 (S104) of the Water Industry Act 1991, which concerns private sewers to be constructed at a future date. You must submit your S104 sewer adoption application and then enter into a legal agreement with us before constructing any of the planned sewers and sewerage assets – this is so we can make sure the system is designed to the required standards.

The adoption of existing sewers and sewerage assets is covered by section 102 (S102) of the Water Industry Act 1991. You’ll need to submit an S102 sewer adoption application so we can confirm the system meets the required adoption criteria. As the sewer(s) will become part of the public network once we take ownership, all users of the system must agree to the adoption in advance.

Can I have a copy of the signed sewer adoption agreement?

If you need a copy of a signed sewer adoption agreement for a particular development – as part of a house sale for example – the developer should be able to give this to you for free. We can send you a copy of the agreement for a charge; you’ll need to provide us with written consent from the developer first. Please email technical.sewerage@yorkshirewater.co.uk if you need more information.

When can I have an inspection?

If you’re installing new sewers for adoption, making connections to the public sewer network, or proposing a sewer alteration or diversion, we’ll need to carry out inspections of the works to make sure they meet our requirements.

Site inspections can only happen once we’ve given you conditional and/or technical acceptance for the proposed works to go ahead. We’ll give you the contact details of our Developer Services Inspector when we issue our acceptance.

We encourage you to book a pre-start inspection to understand the construction process and make sure you meet our requirements and the national standard.

You’ll need to book in any further site inspections with our Inspector according to the inspection regime provided at the pre-start inspection.

What are the standards for designing and constructing new sewers?

There are certain standards and requirements that we work to and that we expect developers to follow when planning, designing and installing new sewers and sewerage assets. These are laid out in Appendix C – Design and Construction Guidance of the Sewerage Sector Guidance contained within the Codes for Adoption.

Our requirements for the design and adoption of sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are aligned to the SuDS Manual (C753) published by CIRIA.

We have our own local practice and requirements for the design and adoption of pumping stations.

How do private-public sewer transfers affect me?

After a change in legislation on 1 October 2011, most private sewers and lateral drains in Yorkshire were transferred to our ownership. We then became responsible for private pumping stations in Yorkshire which meet the eligibility criteria from 1 October 2016.

As a result of this transfer, many sewers, drains and pumping stations that used to be private are now owned by us as part of the public sewer network. This ensures we pick up the cost of maintaining and repairing these sewerage assets instead of our customers.

If you’re planning to construct, extend or underpin a building, you need to check if there are any public sewers or sewerage assets nearby that could be affected by your building work.

Charges and payments

 

General

Where can I find your charges?

We publish all our fixed charges in our New Connection Charging Arrangements. These charges are updated every year on 1 April.

What are infrastructure charges?

Infrastructure charges are one-off payments we collect for new properties that are connecting to our water and sewer networks for the first time, and for redevelopments that result in a higher water or sewerage demand than before. They cover the cost of reinforcing our existing networks so we can support sustainable growth across our whole region.

There are three infrastructure charges levied for each property, covering drinking water, foul water and surface water infrastructure. These charges are included with the quote for the water connection and are collected before the property is connected to our network. For more information on infrastructure charges and how they’re calculated, you might want to check section 4 of our New Connection Charging Arrangements.

Did you know sustainable, water-efficient developments get discounts on their infrastructure charges? Take a look at our environmental incentives and credits to find out if your development is eligible.

Do you charge VAT?

Some of our services incur VAT while others are outside the scope of VAT. The rates at which VAT is applied are variable depending on the service provided and the type of property concerned. These rates are subject to changes in VAT legislation and rates of VAT.

All of our application fees, quotes and invoices set out the applicable rate of VAT, but if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Water services

How do I pay my water application fee?

If you’re applying via our online portal, we accept credit/debit card or BACS payments. If you’re applying via an electronic PDF or paper form, we accept card, BACS or cheque. Fees and payment details are provided within the relevant application form.

For services involving the installation or diversion of water mains, there are additional request forms you’ll need to complete at different stages of your journey. Each request form includes an administration fee, which we’ll invoice you for after we’ve processed your request. We accept all payment types for these and payment details are provided on the invoice we issue.

Can I get an estimate for connection works?

I’m a homeowner or single-property developer

You can use our online calculator to get an estimate for up to three household water connections. It’s easy to use, takes less than 3 minutes and will give you an indicative cost estimate that you can use for budgeting purposes.

 

I’m a large developer or self-lay provider (SLP)

Use our mains estimate calculator to calculate a cost estimate for works you need us to carry out on a larger development, including new water main installations and individual plot connections. 

Take a look at our New Connection Charging Arrangements for more information on individual charges.

 

How do I pay my quote?

We accept credit/debit card, BACS or cheque payments. Payment details are listed on the back of the quote. Please include your 15-digit reference number when paying your quote so we can match the money to your customer account.

If you’re paying multiple quotes in one lump sum, please send us a remittance advice – this helps us match the individual payments to your account. Details of what to include on your remittance slip and where to send it are provided on the back of each quote.

How is my quote calculated?

Quotes are built up from the fixed charges published in our New Connection Charging Arrangements. If we’re unable to use a published fixed charge (for example if the work is complex or requires special fittings), we’ll provide a bespoke charge instead.

For jobs where we need to dig in the road, your quote includes the cost of any council fees we need to pay for permission to carry out the roadworks. These fees are set by each local council, not Yorkshire Water. Please visit your local council’s website for more details on specific permit fees.

How long is my quote valid for?

Quotes for individual water connections are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Quotes for water main installations and diversions are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.

You’ll need to pay your quote and book in the work before the quote expiry date. If your quote expires, it will no longer be valid and you’ll need to request a re-quote if you want to go ahead with the work.

All quotes we issue are fixed for the duration of their validity period, even if we enter a new financial year during that period.

How do I get a re-quote?

If your original quote has expired, or if you need to make changes to a water connection quote, please complete our re-quote request form – you’ll find this in the ‘Supporting documentation’ section of our water connections page.

If your quote is for a mains scheme, and you need to make changes that affect the site layout or plot numbers, please complete our re-design / re-approval request form – you’ll find this in the ‘Supporting documentation’ section of our water mains page.

 

Sewerage services

How do I pay my sewerage application fee?

Some of our sewerage services are covered by one upfront application fee; these include sewer build-over enquiries, sewer connections, sewer closures and pre-planning sewerage enquiries. If you’re applying via our online portal, we accept credit/debit card or BACS payments. If you’re applying via an electronic PDF or paper form, we accept card, BACS or cheque. Fees and payment details are provided within the relevant application form.

For other sewerage services – such as sewer adoptions, requisitions and diversions – we’ll send you an invoice after we’ve assessed your application and before we draw up the relevant agreement. We accept all payment types for these but generally prefer BACS due to the high values that are typically involved. The fees for these services are listed in the relevant application form and payment details are provided on the invoice we issue.

How is my bond refunded?

Sewer adoptions (S104)

If you’re applying for the adoption of new sewers, a bond (cash or surety) equal to 10% of the total cost of construction of the adoptable sewer network (or a minimum of £5,000) is payable on entering into the S104 agreement with us.

The cash bond will be repaid to you in full (or the surety released of its obligations) once the adoptable network is vested into Yorkshire Water after a 12-month maintenance period. If defects have been identified as part of the pre-maintenance inspection, the bond will be retained until the defects have been satisfactorily corrected.

 

Sewer diversions (S185)

If you’re applying for a sewer diversion, a bond (cash or surety) equal to 100% of the total cost of construction of the works (or a minimum of £5,000) is payable on entering into the S185 agreement with us.

90% of the cash bond will be repaid to you when we issue the Provisional Certificate, and the remaining 10% will be repaid once the network is vested into Yorkshire Water after a 12-month maintenance period. The surety will be released of its obligations in full on vesting. If defects have been identified as part of the pre-maintenance inspection, the bond will be retained until the defects have been satisfactorily corrected.