Building Over a Public Sewer

If you’re proposing to construct, extend or underpin a building within your property boundary you must check whether any public sewers or disposal mains are close by. If there is a sewer within 3 meters of your proposed works then you will need our consent prior to your works being carried out. This is to protect the sewer and the building from possible damage to each other and to ensure that access to the sewer is not adversely affected. The Sewerage Technical team are here to help!

As the Statutory Undertaker, we are responsible for protecting and maintaining our assets now and in the future. Any form of building work, puts our assets at risk and it’s our responsibility to ensure they are not damaged and we can continue to access them and maintain them in the future.

There may be situations where building over a sewer is not possible. If this is the case, you will be guided through the process to follow in relation to making an alteration / diversion to the public sewer network.

Building Over or Near to a Public Sewer

Your building work may need planning permission or building regulations approval from the local authority and your water company’s approval. Some work falls under homeowners’ permitted development rights or may not require Building Regulations approval.

We receive consultations direct from the Building Control Officers from the local authority and also from Approved Inspectors. The Approved Inspectors have to formally advise the Building Control Officers that they are ensuring that the works are carried out in accordance with Building Regulations

We also offer a service if customers would like to contact us directly regarding a consultation.

If you are planning any building work and a public sewer could be affected, we always recommend you consult your Local Authority Building Control department in the first instance.

What happens next?

On receipt of the consultation, we will 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 will supply a map showing the position of the local public sewer network. This information will affect whether building over or near to a public sewer will be allowed.

For an extension, please let us know where it will be located. For example, is it going to be on the side or back of the building. Please also ensure that you provide clear contact details, including a daytime telephone number, so we can get in touch with you easily and quickly to discuss your plans

Once we have undertaken our technical assessment, we will either issue an Approval or Rejection. The Approval means you can start work on site and is a very important document that you will need to retain and keep with the deeds of your property for when you come to sell your house. If you receive a Rejection, we will discuss the reasons for this with you and work with you to help identify alternative solutions.

Throughout the end to end consultation process, we will work with you to ensure your development can proceed whilst ensuring that your property, and the integrity of our sewers, are protected.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Sewerage Technical Team within Developer Services for guidance or any queries relating to building over or near to a sewer, all our details can be found on our Contact Us page.