Advice before applying for planning approval
Sewer closure, Building over sewers, Sewer connections
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Whether you're planning a small extension, the development of several hundred houses or a commercial/industrial venture, we can help.
Our suite of sewerage services for developers range from pre-planning sewerage enquiries to the closure of existing sewers. We'll support your new development whilst ensuring the public sewer network isn't adversely affected.
Here are our fees for 2017-2018 for all Sewerage Services.
If you own a building and require a connection to the public sewer, we can help.
You need to send us a completed application form, along with your application fee and any supporting material. The guidance notes give you advice on completing the application form, connection methods and associated fees.
The fee is non-refundable so do check your connection is to a public sewer before applying. Please note we require 21 days notification of a connection and the appropriate fee. An additional fee of £100 is required for inspections outside normal working hours.
There are different charges for sewer connections, so please read the application form and guidance notes.
For proposed buildings covered by a planning application, there's no right of connection to a public sewer under S106 of The Water Industry Act until planning approval has been granted and any drainage conditions discharged.
Once approved, you'll arrange for a contractor to make the connection at your cost and our inspector will monitor the work as it takes place. We recommend using a suitably qualified and experienced contractor.
Connections of land and highway drainage/road gullies have no right of connection to the public sewer network. Highway drainage may be considered; please contact the Developer Services Team for further information.
When a property is connected to the public sewer network for the first time, a sewerage infrastructure charge is payable. This is usually collected at the same time as any charges for any new water supply connection.
If the work involves excavations in the public highway (including footways and grass verges) you'll have to obtain consent from the Highway Authority (this is usually your Local or County Council). The Highway Authority will require you to use a certified contractor in accordance with the New Road and Street Works Act 1991.
All sewer connections must be gravity connections and shall be inspected and approved by our inspector before any additional pipes are laid or before concreting or backfilling.
Please note that foul water must not be disposed of to a surface water sewer and surface water should generally not be discharged to a foul or combined sewer.
We'll refuse a connection to a public sewer if it appears to be detrimental to the public sewer network in terms of the mode of construction, or condition of the drain or sewer.
If a sewer is adopted, the responsibility for it is transferred to us from the developer who constructed it.
A developer who is planning to construct a sewer which will be adopted by us should check that the prospective public sewers are designed and constructed to acceptable standards.
• Developer submits a completed application form and suitable drawings to us for approval before work begins on site.
• We issue technical approval and charge standard fees as set out in SFA6.
• The developer enters into a legal agreement, known as a Section 104 agreement with us and is then able to begin building the sewer(s).
• Our inspection team monitors the construction work on site.
• The developer provides us with 'as built' drawings of the development site.
• When the sewer network on the site is fully constructed and there is 51% occupancy on the site, the developer can request a pre-maintenance inspection.
• If the sewers are found to be satisfactory, then the maintenance period (of typically 12 months) can commence.
• A final inspection is arranged just before the end of the maintenance period.
• Once any outstanding remedial works are completed, we will arrange to adopt the sewers.
• Once adopted, the sewers become public sewers and we're responsible for the maintenance and repair.
Here are our updated charges and guidance notes for sewer adoptions:
We can help with altering or removing sewerage pipes so that developers can carry out proposed improvements.
You'll need to apply in writing providing:
1. A location plan
2. A site layout of the development, with details of sewer(s) crossing the site and the preferred route of diversion(s).
We'll determine the means by which the project will be delivered either:
1. As part of a section 104 agreement constructed by the developer in conjunction with adoptable sewers.
2. As a minor sewer diversion, constructed by the developer subject to an exchange of letters.
3. As a major sewer diversion, constructed by us or by the developer under our supervision and supported by a S185 legal agreement.
We can provide you with a public sewer for the removal of flows from lavatories, water used for cooking and washing and for the removal of surface water.
A public sewer may only be requisitioned if it serves two or more properties, on which there are or will be buildings. A lateral drain (serves only 1 property) may also be provided from the site boundary to the existing public sewer.
Public sewers and lateral drains may only be requisitioned by the owner or occupier of premises, or the relevant local authority. Domestic purposes do not include the removal of water used for business purposes.
You must notify us in writing (also known as serving notice) and send us a location plan with a site layout showing the developers proposals.
To be valid, the sewer must:
1. Serve more than one property (except for a lateral drain).
2. Be in an area not already sewered.
3. Be located on development land.
4. Requested by a person entitled to do so.
On receipt of a valid application, we'll request an advance payment to undertake a feasibility study and prepare robust estimates (see sewer requisition guidance notes). If the estimates are acceptable, a formal agreement (see the financial conditions described in the guidance notes) supported by either a cash bond or surety will be put in place after which the sewers can be laid.
On completion of the works and when the final costs are known, we will determine the amount of the payment due to us, in accordance with OFWAT guidelines.
Before you apply, make sure you take a look at our guidance notes:
If you need to abandon a sewer to make site remediation works easier or remove a restriction from future development, we may close part of the public sewer network.
Before closing a sewer, we need to be absolutely certain that it's no longer in use or required.
This usually requires a closed circuit television [CCTV] survey of the public sewer and any private drainage connections, together with written evidence. For a closure to take place, a manhole is required at the new 'head' (i.e. upstream point) of the public sewer. If there's no existing manhole, a new one needs to be constructed to meet our requirements. Once a public sewer has been closed, we usually issue a certificate. Once issued, the sewer must be abandoned as soon as practicable. This will be monitored by our inspector.
Our preferred method for abandoning a sewer is for it to be grubbed up (excavated) together with any redundant chambers. Where this isn't practical, the closed public sewer should be sealed and filled with grout.
We'll update the Statutory Sewer Map to reflect any closure. Generally, grubbed up sewers are removed from the map and grouted ones are shown as abandoned.
All of the costs involved in a public sewer closure are the responsibility of the applicant.
Following any formal closure of a public sewer, the abandonment works (i.e. grubbing out/grouting up etc.) are at the applicant/developer's expense and are usually carried out by them to our satisfaction.
Even when a public sewer is closed, it remains our responsibility and can't be transferred to private ownership.
If you're proposing to construct, extend or underpin a building you must check whether any public sewers or disposal mains are close by.
We'll check the location of public sewers and look for any easement or covenants affecting the pipe and whether the pipe is suspected of being in 'poor' condition. We'll supply a map showing the position of the local public sewer network. This information will affect whether building over or near to a sewer will be allowed.
For an extension, please say where it will be located, for example on the side or back of the building and do let us have your contact details including a daytime phone number.
If you're planning any building work and a public sewer could be affected, we always recommend you consult your Local Authority Building Control Department.
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