The following Property guidance note Produced in partnership with Martha Grekos provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
A sewer adoption agreement is entered into between the developer and the water service company for sewers to be constructed to defined standards so that they can later be taken over by the water service company as public sewers. The power is contained in section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (WIA 1991). See: Agreement for construction and adoption of sewers on registered land by sewerage undertaker under the Water Industry Act 1991 s 104 with guarantor joined.
The developer may provide a bond as security. This is usually with a bank or other financial institution that will also be a party to the agreement.
Until adopted, the sewers (and any pumping stations or storage tanks) remain the responsibility of the developer.
Adoption will take place only once the development is largely complete, the sewers have been inspected, and a maintenance period has elapsed, during which the developer puts right any defects which become apparent. Where problems arise and adoption does not occur, responsibility for maintaining the new sewers may fall on those who buy the properties on the development.
Retrospective sewer adoption agreements can affect properties on older developments where adoption agreements were not formally entered into at the time of construction. In these cases, the property owners may find they have to finance works necessary to bring the sewers
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