Building and Developing

Building over or close to our sewer pipes?

We're here to help

As a homeowner, you may be thinking about extending your house or building a conservatory or garage. Sometimes, this kind of work can impact on underground sewer pipes that lie within your property’s boundary.

Future proofing our assets

We’re responsible for protecting and maintaining sewers in our area and it’s really important that we safeguard them for all our customers and future generations. Sewers are often located within the boundaries of private properties and sometimes within the vicinity of buildings. Building works can affect these sewers and it’s our responsibility to ensure they are not damaged and we can continue to access them for future maintenance.

Building over or near to a sewer pipe could lead to the pipe itself, or your home, being damaged. This could result in increased costs to our customers and could cause you significant disruption. Therefore, if there are sewer pipes on your land, you do need to consider the position, size and design of your building work before you start and liaise with us before the work begins.

Gaining permissions and approval

Your building work may need planning permission or building regulations approval from the local authority. Some work falls under homeowners’ permitted development rights or may not require Building Regulations approval (things like conservatories, car ports and porches sometimes fall into this category). Please note, our building over or close to process is designed to assist existing domestic properties, extend over small diameter sewers (100 to 225mm diameter). This service is not to facilitate development, as new properties or commercial builds, will need to provide our full protection zones, or divert the sewer(s) under Section 185 of the Water Industry Act 1991 if this cannot be achieved.  

However, importantly none of these permissions give you automatic consent to build over, or close to, a water company’s sewers. This is why we have a building over or close to team and process in place; working with you to ensure your home improvements can proceed whilst ensuring that both your property and our sewers are protected.

There are two possible journeys to gaining our approval, when wishing to build over or close to our sewers:

(Please note that this only applies to building works at a single domestic property involving pipes of 150mm diameter or less)

If you can confidently meet all the required conditions your project will be automatically approved (with limited exceptions). This only applies to building works at a single existing domestic property involving pipes of 150mm diameter or less. For anything larger than this you'll need to complete a formal build over application form.

Here’s some information we hope you’ll find helpful and the declaration form you’ll need to complete:

Once you have completed the declaration form you can email it to our Building Over Team.
 

When self-certification is not achievable you’ll need to follow this formal application and evaluation process in order to gain our consent
to build over or close to (within 3 meters of) our sewer pipes.

We’ll work with you to provide our consent so that your project may proceed; ensuring that both your property and our pipes are protected.

Here’s some information we hope you’ll find helpful and the application form you’ll need to complete:

Once you have completed the application form you can email it to our Building Over Team.