Q&As

Who is responsible for maintenance of a culvert which serves a number of properties? Are culverts covered by the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011?

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Last updated on 07/04/2016

The following Environment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Who is responsible for maintenance of a culvert which serves a number of properties? Are culverts covered by the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011?
  • Transfer of private sewers
  • Responsibility for culverts

Who is responsible for maintenance of a culvert which serves a number of properties? Are culverts covered by the Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011?

Transfer of private sewers

The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011 (SI 2011/1566) are made pursuant to section 102(4) of the Water Industry Act 1991 (WIA 1991).

The key provisions in SI 2011/1566, regs 3 and 4 apply to ‘private sewers’ and ‘private lateral drains’ where they connect with a public sewer. SI 2011/1566, reg 5 sets out some exemptions.

A ‘culvert’ will only be caught by SI 2011/1566 if it falls within the meaning of a 'private sewer' or a 'private lateral drain' under the SI 2011/1566, and connects to a public sewer. This will depend on the factual situation.

‘Private sewer’ is defined in SI 2011/1566, reg 2 as 'the whole or part of a foul, combined or surface water private sewer, but does not include a highway drain or sewer.'

‘Private lateral drain’ is defined in SI 2011/1566, reg 2 as 'the whole or part of a lateral drain which is not vested in a sewerage undertaker in its capacity as such.'

‘Lateral drain’ is defined in WIA 1991, s 219 as meaning:

'(a) that part of a drain which runs from the curtilage of a building (or buildings or yards within the same curtilage) to the

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