As from the 1 October 2011 all sewage pipes outside property boundaries and all sewage pipes which are shared with another property, within a properties boundary, will fall under the ownership of the sewerage/water companies. In the case of the District of Stratford on Avon this will be either Severn Trent Water or Thames Water.
Previously, property owners were responsible for the sewage pipes that drain into public sewers, up to the point that they connect to those sewers. In some cases this included pipes that went beyond their property boundary. People were often unaware that they were responsible for repairs and on-going maintenance of these drains or pipes until a problem occurred and they were hit by a potentially large bill. The new arrangement will give more effective maintenance of assets, reduce neighbour disputes over repair costs and will allow for a better approach to managing the sewerage network.
If you are carrying out building work within 3.0 metres of a public sewer you will be required to enter into a Building Over Agreement with the sewage undertaker. If you are aware of a sewer that will be affected this process can be commenced prior to starting the proposed works by contacting either Severn Trent Water or Thames Water.
In cases where work has commenced and the developer/householder has not contacted the sewage undertaker, and it is evident to Building Control that the work is within 3000mm of a public sewer, we have a statutory obligation to consult the appropriate water authority on your behalf. The water authority will then contact you in respect of any requirements they may have particular to your work.