Sewers and drains—requisitioning a public sewer or lateral drain
Produced in partnership with John Bates of Old Square Chambers
Sewers and drains—requisitioning a public sewer or lateral drain

The following Environment guidance note Produced in partnership with John Bates of Old Square Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Sewers and drains—requisitioning a public sewer or lateral drain
  • Making a requisition
  • Duty to comply with the requisition
  • Financial conditions—sewers
  • Financial conditions—lateral drains
  • Environmental requisitions—first time sewerage
  • Provision of drains with sewers

A sewerage undertaker has a general duty under section 94(1) of the Water Industry Act 1991 (WIA 1991) to ensure that the area for which it is responsible is and continues to be effectually drained. This duty is only enforceable under WIA 1991, s 18 by Ofwat. Therefore, to ensure that the domestic needs of premises can be met by linking them to the main sewerage system in a reasonable time, developers or owner and occupiers of existing premises are entitled to requisition sewers or lateral drains to meet those needs under s 98 of the Act; provided the financial conditions specified in s 99 (as amended by Water Act 2014 (WA 2014)) are complied with.

Making a requisition

A requisition is started by a service of a notice on the sewerage undertaker to provide a sewer or lateral drain. Only the owner or occupier of premises to be served by the sewer or drain, or a local authority, the new towns residuary body, a development corporation—or Mayoral development corporation—in whose area the sewer or drain is to be provided, may serve a notice.

The notice must relate to specific premises, which must either have buildings on them or in respect of which proposals for the erection of buildings have been made. Thus the premises can include open land as long