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Building over and minor alterations to 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 metres 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.

As the Statutory Undertaker, we are responsible for protecting and maintaining our assets. 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 Yorkshire Water’s approval. Some work falls under homeowners’ permitted development rights and may not require Building Regulations approval.

Yorkshire Water receives consultations direct from the Building Control Officers from the local authority and also from Approved Inspectors. The Approved Inspectors must 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 to see whether building over or near to a public sewer will be allowed.

If applying direct for this service, please provide a drawing detailing the information you have available, and contact details, including a daytime telephone number, so we can get in touch with you easily and quickly to discuss your plans.

If you are planning on building 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.

Once we receive your plans we will;

  • check the location of public sewers and look for any easement or covenants affecting the pipe
  • check whether the pipe is suspected of being in ‘poor’ condition
  • we will provide a map showing the position of the local public sewer network.

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.

Fill in your form online  Download our form

*Please note that if you choose to apply online, you will be required to pay your application fee upfront using our secure system. 

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 metres 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.

As the Statutory Undertaker, we are responsible for protecting and maintaining our assets. 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.

Minor Alteration / Diversion to the Public Sewer Network (S185 / S106)

Minor alterations / diversion to the public sewer network under Section 185 / Section 106 of the Water Industry Act 1991 exclusively as a result of domestic development, can be applied for with Yorkshire Water.

This application is intended for use only where the works are on sewers not exceeding 225 mm in internal diameter, are less than 3 metres in depth below the existing ground level or the total length of the sewer alteration / diversion is less than 10 metres.

These works will typically include the alteration / diversion of a public sewer around property extensions, relocation of public manholes / gullies away from the footprint of property extensions and the renewal of public sewers in order to facilitate a build over in accordance with Part H4 of Building Regulations 2000.

The material of the sewer may also determine if you will be permitted to make alterations to the public sewer. If you believe that the public sewer in question is composed of either pitch fibre or asbestos cement, please contact us prior to submitting your application.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your completed application form, proposed drawings and plans (one showing the existing situation and one showing the proposed), we will technically assess your submission.

  • we will either issue an Approval in Principle or Rejection. If you receive a Rejection, we will discuss the reasons for this with you and work with you to help identify alternative solutions
  • on receipt of the ‘Approval in Principle’, it is your responsibility to then arrange for a site inspection of the proposed works to be carried out, prior to any backfilling taking place
  • once our inspector is happy with the works undertaken, we will issue a signed S185 / S106 legal Agreement.
  • we will keep a copy for our records and return the original signed document and agreed plans back to the applicant. This 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 this application fits your needs, please contact our team to discuss your requirements further, by calling 0345 120 84 82, or emailing technical.sewerage@yorkshirewater.co.uk

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