Sewer Adoption and Connection FAQ's | Changes to Sewer Adoption and Connection | Developer Services | Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Monday, 17th February

With flooding still affecting many communities in Wales and Herefordshire, we are experiencing high volumes of calls due to the high winds and heavy rain and our crews are extremely busy.

Here are the organisations you may need to contact:

Natural Resources Wales - 0800 80 70 60 (24 Hours) - if the flooding is coming from a watercourse (such as a stream) that is about to or has burst its banks.

Your Local Council – if you suspect the flooding is resulting from rising groundwater or surface water run off.

Welsh Water Sewerage Services & Emergencies - 0800 085 3968 (24 hours) or report an issue via a webform – for flooding inside your property caused by a blocked or overloaded sewer.

I'd like to connect to the public sewer network, please can I have a sewer connection pack?

From the 1st October 2012, if you want to connect a new sewer or lateral drain to the existing public sewer network within Welsh Water’s operational area, you must first enter into a sewer adoption agreement with Welsh Water.

I need a sewer / lateral drain adoption application; pack please can you send it out to me?

Before you prepare a sewer adoption submission, please contact us as soon as possible to avoid abortive design works. The new agreement process includes differing forms of sewer adoption agreements depending on the size of your development and its complexity. We will also be able to provide you with advice in relation to the most appropriate point of connection to the public sewer network.

Why must I have a sewer adoption agreement?

Welsh Government has introduced the standards to ensure that adequate provisions are made for the future maintenance of all sewers and lateral drains which connect to the public sewer network. Further details can be found on both our and Welsh Government’s web sites. - New adoption arrangements for sewers and lateral drains

Are there any exceptions for the need to enter into a sewer / lateral adoption agreement?

If your development’s connection only involves a drain which does not extend outside the property boundary then an adoption agreement is not needed e.g. a one house development where there is already an existing public sewer within the garden.

Surface water sewers and laterals which do not connect to the public sewer network i.e. they connect directly to streams, rivers or watercourses etc, will not require an agreement. If the surface water sewer is intended to connect to a public surface water sewer, then an agreement is required.

I live in England, why does Welsh Legislation apply to me?

Welsh Government has introduced changes to the 1991 Water Industry Act which relate to water and sewerage undertakers based “wholly or mainly” in Wales. In practice this applies principally to Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and their operations area for sewerage, which extends into parts of England served by the undertaker.

When does this come into effect?

The Legislation which introduces the requirement to enter into the sewer adoption agreement has been signed by the Environment Minister for Wales and will come into effect on the 1st of October 2012.

I already have a development site where construction has started and/or sewer and drain designs have been completed. Do I need to change my design to comply with the new standards?

The new standards include transitional arrangements which address this specific issue. From the 1st October 2012 every sewer and lateral drain constructed which connects/communicates with the public sewer network must be included within a sewer adoption agreement.

It is not the intention of Welsh Government for you to incur additional costs in redesigning drainage arrangements as a result of the implementation of the new standards. If prior acceptance for a design exists on implementation, the design will be valid until 1st October 2013 regardless of the standards utilised for the design. Full details of the transitional arrangements can be found within the Draft standards which can be accessed via the link to the Welsh Government Web Site which is included above.

Who will adopt/inspect plot drainage where the connection involves a lateral drain on a single property?

Welsh Water will be responsible for the inspection of all sewers and lateral drains which are included within the developments adoption agreement. For individual properties, every drain which is not included within the sewer / lateral drain adoption agreement (if required) will continue to be inspected by the appointed Building Control Authority for that development.

How can I find out whether or not my development sits within the Welsh Water area boundary meaning it would be subject to the new legislation?

A map highlighting our sewerage operational area can be found on our website. If you are in doubt about whether a property falls within our boundary then please contact us -

How will Welsh Water ensure that there is an efficent process in place when customers apply for a new sewer connection. There is concern about the 21 day approval process.

The 21 day response time is set out within the Water Industry Act and allows us time to fully assess every sewer connection application and consult with internal departments. Where we are able we will respond sooner. You are also able to submit connection applications well in advance of your proposed connection date which will help reduce any timing concerns which you have about this process.

When will the new forms of agreement and details of your easement requirements be available?

Our new forms of sewer adoption agreement are now available which include details of our easement requirements, please contact us directly if you require a copy.

Do the standards address the issue of plastic vs. concrete manholes and other products?

The standards include a number of options for material selection which include plastic and concrete products.

I am currently constructing sewers on a number of developments which do not currently have sewer adoption agreements. Do I need to stop installing sewers on the 1st October?

If you're Client has not entered into a new form of sewer adoption agreement(s) for the development(s) which you are working on, any continuation of sewer and lateral drain construction undertaken by your Company will be an offence.

At what stage is sewage capacity taken into account?

This will not change from the existing processes and the Pre Planning Services we offer customers. We encourage anyone involved in new development to contact us to discuss their proposals at the earliest opportunity.

Will we need to add surface water laterals to plans for existing sites?

If your surface water sewer is intended to connect to the public sewer network you will need to include every connected lateral drain within the agreement. The adoption of new surface water sewers which do not connect to the public network i.e. a watercourse will not be mandatory. We will continue to adopt surface water sewers which discharge to watercourse but on the proviso that all of the connecting sewers and lateral drains are also included within the adoption agreement.

My development has planning and sewer connection (S106) approval but the connection will not be made until after 1st October. Will the transitional process for this site be a simple exchange of paperwork, or will it be subject to additional fee and bonding arrangements?

In scenarios where both planning approval and 106 sewer connection approval is in place, the following will apply:

If the connection is via a drain only then an adoption agreement is not required.

If a sewer adoption agreement is in place then there are no additional fees required to amend the existing agreement. We will however need to meet to confirm the extent of the constructed sewer/lateral drain network on the 1st October and to amend your existing adoption agreement before the construction of sewers and lateral drains continues.

If no adoption agreement is in place there will be fees associated in setting up a new agreement. The new adoption agreement must be in place on the 1st October 2012 if you wish to continue to construct sewer and lateral drains which are intended to communicate with the public sewer network. Please contact us directly to discuss this further and refer to our web site for details of our fees.

On a phased development is there likely to be a phased release of bond?

Yes, phasing of developments needs to be considered in detail when setting up new adoption agreements. Specific phases will be needed for pumping stations and surface water systems which do not connect to the public sewer network. Individual phases, ideally need to be setup in a successive order ensuring "down stream" systems are adopted first.

For a single house connection, does the 104 agreement need to be in place before an approved contractor is appointed?

You can engage and/or appoint a Health and Safety Accredited contractor at any time during the process, but we will not be able to approve your sewer connection application ahead of the completion of a sewer adoption agreement.

What is the length of an agreements maintenance period and are CCTV surveys required for every length of adoptable sewer and lateral drain?

The defects liability period for Lite (2-10 properties) and Full (larger developments) sewer adoption agreements will be 12 months and 3 months for lateral drains. We will advise you of the CCTV survey requirements when setting up the sewer / lateral drain adoption agreement and we expect you to arrange and fund CCTV survey works.

We have ongoing development site where roads and sewers will be privately managed with a secure gate around the developments boundary once the development is complete. Will I need to obtain a sewer adoption agreement for this development?

The new standards apply to all new sewers and lateral drains which will communicate with the public sewer network. We will need to address developments such as this on a site-by-site basis and recommend that you contact us.

Are demarcation chambers private or adopted by Welsh Water?

Demarcation chambers must be included within sewer adoption agreements - i.e. they will be public.

What information do you expect in an initial submission? Do you require long section for all adoptable sewers or will a schedule be acceptable?

Details of information we require within an initial sewer adoption submission are contained within our guidance notes which can found on our website.

Must I always comply with the Minister's Standards?

No. Other standards may be considered and applied by mutual agreement. These may be appropriate to take account of site-specific constraints or new and innovative techniques or materials.