Connecting into pipes (public and private), building over sewers agreement, building regulation requirements
Connecting into pipes (public and private), building over sewers agreement, building regulation requirements

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Connecting into pipes (public and private), building over sewers agreement, building regulation requirements
  • Introduction
  • Building near to or over a sewer
  • Public or private sewer
  • Connecting into an existing public sewer
  • Construction of a new sewer
  • Diversion of an existing sewer
  • Building Control—Building Regulations 2010, Schedule 1, Part H

Introduction

There are two systems of drainage in relation to development:

  1. foul water, and

  2. surface water

Each of these has above-ground and underground elements:

  1. Foul drainage carries the used foul water from properties. The above-ground pipework is referred to as sanitary pipework; the underground pipework is referred to as foul drains and foul sewers

  2. Surface water drainage carries rainwater from hard surfaces. The underground pipework is referred to as surface water drains and surface water sewers

In general, a drain serves a single property whereas a sewer serves more than one property.

Private sewers are owned by the properties they serve. Public sewers are owned by the sewerage undertaker (whose address can be found on your sewerage bill).

Building work on and around a sewer needs permission of the sewer owner.

If you intend to build over or close to a public sewer, you will need a written agreement/ consent from your sewerage undertaker. A sewer may need to be moved/ diverted or protected, which would be likely to increase the cost of your project.

In July 2018 Ofwat issued new charging rules for new connection services (English undertakers) under sections 51CD, 105ZF and 144ZA of the Water Industry Act 1991. These rules have effect in relation to charges imposed on or after 1 April 2018 by water undertakers and sewerage undertakers whose