Anticipating the future of sewer adoption … A NEW ERA

Posted: Monday 17th September 2012

On 1st October 2011, responsibility in England and Wales for existing gravity private sewers and lateral drains that connect to the public sewer system was transferred to the water and sewerage companies. This has nearly doubled the length of sewerage assets for which water and sewerage companies are responsible.

To avoid the creation of new private sewers and laterals, Section 42 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 will, once it is brought into force, amend the Water Industry Act 1991 to make adoption of new sewers or lateral drains a condition of any future connection to the sewer system. This will require developers to enter into a new type of adoption agreement to ensure these assets are adopted. The effect of this change will mean that adoption agreements will now cover many more laterals and small sewers that were previously excluded.

These changes come into force in the Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water area on the 1st October 2012. No date has been set for commencement in England.

Owing to the proposed changes in legislation, a new edition of Sewers for Adoption (SfA) was published - the 7th edition (SfA7) in August 2012. The document now includes design guidance for smaller drain and sewer systems near to buildings, which have not previously been adopted. The changes are some of the biggest made to SfA for many years. To assist users to understand the changes, WRc are holding a series of workshops that will:

· clarify the changes in legislation;

· explain the key changes to the technical guidance and offer the opportunity to question the experts responsible for drafting the new technical guidelines;

· help identify any necessary modifications to your own internal systems and procedures;

· facilitate networking opportunities and discussions about the new guidelines with fellow delegates.

Nick Orman, Principal Consultant at WRc, comments “If you are involved in the design or construction of drains or sewers that connect to the public sewer system or if you supply products to this market, these changes will affect you and you cannot afford to miss these workshops”.

The seminars will be held in Cardiff (2nd October), London (9th October) and Manchester (11th October). For further information visit or call 01793 865056.

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