Further changes to the adoption of sewers

27 March, 2014
by: Cripps Pemberton Greenish

DEFRA have confirmed that further provisions of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 (“the Act”) which will affect the process by which newly constructed sewers and lateral drains connect to a public sewer, may be brought into force this year. 


Under those parts of the Act already in force, existing sewers and lateral drains have been automatically adopted by statutory undertakers since October 2011.  Section 42 of the Act, which is due to come into force in England during 2014, will take this process a step further.  S42 will introduce a requirement that new sewers and lateral drains connecting to the public sewerage system must also become adopted by statutory undertakers.  Currently such connections are private unless they are subject to an existing s106 agreement for their adoption.  The purpose of s42 is to bring newly constructed sewers and drains in line with those already in existence and adopted and prevent a raft of privately owned connections, built to varying standards, from re-emerging. 


Once s42 is in force, sewers and lateral drains will need to be constructed in accordance with approved standards and a developer will have to obtain an agreement under s104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, showing that new mandatory standards have been met, before a s106 agreement for their connection to the public system can be entered into. 


These mandatory standards are currently being drafted by DEFRA who have indicated that they will be subject to industry consultation.  A final date for the commencement of s42 is still awaited but DEFRA have indicated that it is likely to be during the course of this year. 

Reviewed in 2015