residential development guide for home extensions and new dwellings 


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Main Sewer Guide

All domestic customers are entitled to connect their drains to the sewer system if avaialable. Written approval is required before any new connection to a sewer is made. Most Water Boards explain the procedure and have application forms. This can be obtained by contacting their call centre or by downloading it. It is a good idea to speak to the network operations staff prior to making an application to discuss your proposed connection.

They normally reserve the right to make the connection to their sewer and to ask you to pay the costs. If they decide to allow you or your contractor to do the work, it must be done under our supervision and at your cost. In certain circumstances they can refuse permission for new connections to the sewers. For example they would not allow a foul drain to be connected to a surface water sewer, nor generally surface water to a foul or combined sewer. When a property is connected to the public sewer network for the first time a sewerage infrastructure charge is payable to us. This is usually collected at the same time as the charges for any new water supply to the property.

If you are a developer who requires further information about making a connection to a public sewer, please consult the developers guide for the relevant Statutory Authority.

Adoption of an existing sewer

If you wish to request the adoption of an existing sewer you will need to apply for a section 102 (S102) sewer adoption. You will have to demonstrate that the sewers have been properly designed, constructed and maintained and are suitable for adoption as public sewers. When adopted the sewers will be maintained at their expense. You will be required to pay the costs involved with inspecting the sewers and any remedial work prior to adoption.

Adoption of a new sewer

It is possible to arrange a section 104 (S104) agreement with them prior to construction, for them to adopt sewers constructed to the nationally agreed standard as set out in the 'Sewers for Adoption' document.  This document is published by WRc plc on behalf of Water UK, the association of UK Water Companies. 

Building over a public sewer

If you are planning any development or building a structure or extension, you will need to check the location of the public sewers. All local authorities normally have online access to our sewer map for their area, this is often available to view free of charge by the public at council offices. 

If the location of the sewer prevents the development or the construction of the building or extension it may be possible to build over subject to our approval as part of the building regulation approval procedure.

Diverting an existing sewer

If the location of a public sewer prevents land development or a property extension, it may be possible to divert the sewer(s) on a site as part of an adoption agreement (section 104/116) or they may divert the sewer on a chargeable basis.

Requisition of a sewer

If you have a site with no means of drainage to an existing public sewer due to third party land and cannot agree an easement with that third party, you may need the Water Board to construct a new public sewer.  You will be required to contribute towards the cost of the work. 


Main sewer guide - waste water adoptions


Planning Permision in the Open Countryside