WELSH GOVERNMENT DECIDES
From October 1st 2012 the laws relating to the construction and management of sewers and lateral drains in Wales will for a limited time be significantly different from those in England.
From that date a new adoption process, which is mandatory for all sewers connecting to the public sewerage system, and new construction standards set by the Welsh Ministers' for gravity foul sewers and lateral drains will come in to force.
The requirements for construction standards will mean that all new gravity foul sewers that connect with the public sewerage network must be constructed to agreed specifications. They will then be adopted by Welsh Water and become their responsibility to maintain.
An adoption agreement will be needed whether you are connecting a new or existing property to the public sewer network for the first time or if you are building a large multi-phased development. The only exception to this requirement is if a new connection to the public sewerage system is only for a drain which does not extend beyond a premises boundary.
Following these changes, an adoption agreement must be in place before any construction or connection to sewers and lateral drains to the public network can take place.
In addition to these new construction requirements, from April 1st 2013 any sewer or lateral drain constructed since 1st August 2011 and that connects to the public sewerage system within the sewerage boundary of Welsh Water will be adopted by Welsh Water.
All sewers and lateral drains that were constructed prior to 1st August 2011 were transferred to Welsh water on the 1st October 2011.
Therefore from 1st April 2013 the maintenance, repair and replacement of all lateral drains and sewers within Welsh waters sewer boundary and which connect to a public sewerage outfall or sewage works will become the responsibility of Welsh Water.
It is anticipated that these changes to the laws relating to sewers in Wales will be mirrored by the nine English Water companies some time in 2013.