Sewerage

If you need help with your sewerage needs on site, you can call on the expertise of our developer services team to provide you with the best solution that suits your specific needs.

Whether you are looking to connect a single property to our network or need to service a new development site, you can choose to have an experienced contractor undertake the work or requisition the works from us under Section 98 of the Water Industry Act (1991).

The choice is entirely yours to make.

There are also options for a developer to seek a new appointment to provide water and/or sewerage services for a specific geographic area. Find out more on the Ofwat website.

Our central team is based in our Bath office and our regional engineers and site inspectors are based at Bridgwater, Poole and Trowbridge.

In all cases we aim to provide you with the best customer service experience. However, should you be unhappy with any aspect of the service or solution provided, your complaint should be directed to Nigel Martin, head of developer services, in the first instance.

How we redress our failure to meet the commitments we have made in any aspect of our developer promises and procedures is detailed in our redress statement.

Building near or over a sewer

We have recently completed a review of our process for building over or near to a sewer.

From 20 September 2018, if you meet our new standard criteria you have our consent to proceed. It means you won’t need to contact us. To find out more, please follow our simple 3 step process (below) which explains what you need to do next.

We own and maintain thousands of kilometres of public sewers. These take away sewage waste, keep the environment clean and are an essential part of everyday life.

Many of our sewers run within private land and are usually found to the front, rear or side of a property. If you are planning a new development or home improvement project, it’s important that you take the appropriate steps to protect our sewer and your new building.

Failure to do this could make it difficult for you to sell your property in the future or cost you money if something goes wrong. To help things go smoothly, we have created a simple three step guide to help:

Sewer adoption

You can apply to us to adopt new sewers and pumping stations under a S104 agreement. 

Occasionally we are asked to consider adopting existing private treatment works or historic sewers under a S102 agreement.

All adoptable sewers are designed and constructed to a national standard set out in the Sewers for Adoption guidance book. We have an addendum to this guidance book specifically for pumping station design.

A number of our documents are currently under review – if you cannot find what you were looking for, please contact a member of our team and we will advise you what to do.

Sewer requisition

You can requisition us to lay a sewer to serve your site if your development has no access to a public sewer because third party land is in the way. We suggest you consider private negotiation first.

We have powers under the Water Act to lay pipelines in private land although full planning permission needs to be granted before we can serve land entry.

When requisitioning a surface water sewer, you will need discharge consent from the riparian owner of the watercourse.

A number of our documents are currently under review – if you cannot find what you were looking for, please contact a member of our team and we will advise you what to do.

Sewer diversions

If you are planning a new development, an extension to a property, building a garage or conservatory, you will need to consider whether there is a public sewer in the way.

If you want to build over or near a public sewer, you must agree protection measures with us before you start.

If you are unable to alter your plans, we may agree to a diversion. We will advise whether it is a major or minor diversion and what you should do next.

Building over or near applications are dealt with by our sewer protection team based in Bath and sewer diversions by our regional engineers.

A number of our documents are currently under review – if you cannot find what you were looking for, please contact a member of our team and we will advise you what to do.

Sewer connections

To connect to our public sewer, you need to make an application to us. We will check and approve it, or will give you further information if your proposals need more technical design.

If you are connecting a pumped rising main, we will need extra details to check the potential septicity impact on our system.

A pumped rising main needs a break chamber to slow the flow before the connection point to our public sewer.

We require all contractors and their employees to obtain a permit card prior to working in a confined space on our assets. Most of our manholes are classed as confined spaces, and we have a restricted operations policy which applies to our staff and contractors.

Contractors can apply to be included on our suitable contractors list. Contact our sewer protection team for details.

First time sewerage

If you live in an area which lacks public mains drainage, you can ask us to consider providing a new sewerage system.

Applications are accepted from parish and district councils or groups of householders and are often a result of the Environment Agency identifying pollution problems.

We will investigate if a scheme is viable and will carry out an economic assessment to compare private options to public solutions. If it is viable, we will confirm when it could proceed.

If a scheme is not viable, we can advise on alternative options.

Before making an application, please have an initial discussion with our regional engineers who deal with first time sewerage enquiries.

Sewers for adoption 8

A pre-implementation version of Sewers for Adoption 8th Edition (SfA8) has now been published by Water UK. It is part of the sector’s implementation of the Ofwat Code on Adoption Agreements and is expected to come into effect by mid-2019.

Ofwat will make the final decision to approve SFA8 as part of the adoption code, but once the new guidance does come into effect, it will be the only guide to outline the standards that sewers must meet if they are to be adoptable by water and sewerage companies in England.

In this edition for the first time, guidance on adoptable SuDS has been included.

Wessex Water along with developers, consultants, planners and other sewerage companies are already planning changes to policies and procedures to get ready to implement the new manual. By publishing this document in advance, it will allow sufficient time for those changes to be made even if the final form of the guidance changes as part of the adoption code work.

More information can be found on the Water UK website.