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Sewer Diversions

Under Section 185 of the Water Industry Act 1991, a builder or developer can request that a public sewer is altered, diverted or removed to allow a site to be developed. Where a public sewer crosses a site, a developer can submit a request to us to undertake a reasonable diversion of it.

Section 185 places a duty on Yorkshire Water to divert apparatus in land, upon receipt of notice from persons who have an interest in the land, as necessary to enable that person to carry out a proposed improvement of the land. This duty does not arise when apparatus is located in, under or over any street.

Diversion of public sewers under Section 185 of the Water Industry Act 1991 can be a protracted process. All parties involved (developers, consultants, contractors, project managers) need to be aware of the process, costs, legal and technical requirements and programme implications. Developers need to ensure that sufficient time has been included in their build programme for diversion of sewers before works associated with the development commences.

Legal and financial arrangements differ depending on who carries out the works.

The developer may be permitted to carry out the work when:

  • the sewer is non-critical infrastructure; and
  • the diversion is solely in land owned by the developer.

We can help determine how the diversion will be delivered, either:

  • as part of a Section 104 Agreement constructed by the developer in conjunction with adoptable sewers;
  • as a minor sewer diversion, constructed by the developer subject to an exchange of letters; or
  • as a major sewer diversion, constructed by the developer under our supervisions or Yorkshire Water (constructed by one of our contract partners) and supported by a S185 legal Agreement.

In relation to turning flows at either end of the diversion, you must apply for a Section 106 connection application before doing so. In addition, any Section 185 legal Agreement must be signed before turning flows. Once the existing sewer flows have been diverted into the new pipework, the redundant sewer must then be abandoned in accordance with the developer’s Method Statement.

Minor Sewer Diversion

You can apply online using our online application portal, or you can download and submit your application form.

Fill in your form online Download our form

Once you have submitted your completed application form, proposed drawings and camera survey, we will technically assess your submission and provide an initial response detailing whether the proposals are acceptable or not.

Any diversions to the public sewer network shall not be commenced until the S185 legal Agreement with Yorkshire Water is in place.

During construction, our inspectors will attend site to monitor work being undertaken on site in relation to the diversion of our assets.

When the diversion is complete, it is your responsibility to provide us with ‘as built’ drawings for the works undertaken. A copy of all the drawings included within the signed S185 Agreement must be provided in ‘as built’ format.

When the flows have been turned, you can request a pre-maintenance inspection by contacting our Adoption Agents. If the diversion is found to be satisfactory, then the maintenance period (of typically 12 months) can commence.

On completion of a satisfactory maintenance inspection, we will refund 90% of the Bond, retaining 10% or a minimum of £5,000.

Just before the end of the maintenance period, it is your responsibility to contact us to arrange a Final Inspection of the diversion. Once any outstanding remedial works are completed, we will arrange for the remaining bond monies to be released.

In all cases, the sewer to be abandoned must be clearly indicated on the drawings submitted for Technical Approval and the method of abandoning the sewer (i.e. removed, grouted, fly ashed etc) must be stated.

Major Sewer Diversion (Developer Led)

Where a large diameter (or critical) public sewer crosses a site, a developer can submit a request to us to undertake a reasonable diversion of it. We encourage you to engage in early discussions with us so we can guide you through the process requirements whilst ensuring the performance and longevity of the altered or diverted sewer is not compromised.

We are happy to meet with you at the outset of the process, prior to submission of a complete application, to ensure our requirements are clear and any issues with a site can be discussed at an early stage.

Any diversions to the public sewer network shall not be commenced until the S185 legal Agreement with Yorkshire Water is in place

Please download and complete our Application Form for a major sewer diversion / alteration (Developer Led) under S185 of the Water Industry Act 1991