Impact of new sewers legislation on Building Developments

15 12 2011

In the years following the privatisation of the water companies, design and construction of drainage networks for private developments has become less rigorous. These “private” networks were built to less exacting standards and their long term maintenance remained the responsibility of the individual properties on the development. Legislation developed following the floods in 2007 has dramatically reversed this trend.

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 requires that all new sewers/lateral drains are adopted by the Water Companies. Existing private drains and sewers were adopted from 1 Oct 2011. Developments with new sewers are now required to enter into an adoption agreement under the Water Industry Act 1991.

Developers are expected to produce detailed drawings, manhole schedules and sections together with drainage calculations to the Unified Build Standard issued by DEFRA. This standard is expected to be incorporated into the forthcoming Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition which will also cover pumping stations.

The Water Company will have the right to inspect the construction, and are likely to require CCTV surveys and detailed as-built drawings compatible with their existing computer-based records.

Sewers should include adequate clearance from adjacent buildings to allow for future access for maintenance and structural integrity of the sewer. Careful routing of the drainage network would minimise the requirements for Easements and Building-Over agreements.

Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) are expected to be covered by a new standard currently being produced for DEFRA. Approval of these SUDS will fall under the Local Flood Authority

Avoid time consuming negotiations with the authorities, The Stilwell Partnership drainage engineers have extensive experience in working to these adoption standards.

We will also be able to advise you how to cost effectively deal with this transitional period

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