Building and Developing

Before you apply

There are some key things you need to know before you’re ready to apply for a new connection. Once you can have considered all of these you are all set to send us your application.

It's your responsibility to make the sewer connection and before you apply for our approval you need to know what type of sewers are available to you and whether a connection is possible.

You can request a copy of our maps. Following a change in government legislation in 2011 a lot of private drains and sewer have transferred into our ownership and our maps are still being updated.

We'll need to know if you are making a direct connection or an indirect connection. The application costs for these connections differ so you need to be aware which is required before you apply.

  • A direct connection is any connection that is made to any public sewer.
  • An indirect connection is a connection to a private drain that then goes into a public sewer.

This diagram shows a typical sewer layout, any connection made to the red pipe would be classed as a direct connection, any to the green would be an indirect.

picture of house with sewer connections

There are two types of sewage, foul and surface water.

Foul is any used water from the property e.g. toilets, showers, sinks, washing machines etc and will need to be taken away via the foul sewer. If the property is also discharging used process water and/ or contaminated water a Trade Effluent Consent will need to be obtained before applying for a new connection. Our Commercial Services team issue these consents. Please note this consent needs to be attained before applying for a new connection.

Surface water is any rainwater collected from impermeable areas e.g. roof, car park, hard standing. Surface water should only be connected to a sewer if ground conditions do not permit the use of a soakaway or there is no local watercourse available to drain to. If you are making a surface water connection we will need to see evidence of why soakaways cannot be used. For more information on soakaways see our FAQs.

Each commercial property doesn't need to have an individual connection to the main sewer. A number of properties can share a sewer pipes.

If there are both foul and surface water sewers in your area we will expect you to make a separate connection to each sewer. If we have a combined sewer that you can connect to – shown in red on our records – then you will only need to apply for one connection.

You'll be required to gain our approval for each connection you make to the existing sewer.

Each connection has an approval fee associated with it.

You will need to employ a contractor to carry out the sewer connection works.

If you use a contractor to make a direct connection to our main sewer we will ask you to provide their details along with their Health and Safety policy and a site specific risk assessment & method statement with your application. This is so that we can ensure they are safe to work on the sewer network.

If any of the sewer connections are within public highway your contractor will need to have the relevant licence from the council.

If there are and your commercial property will affect those assets you may need to apply to have these diverted. You can get more information online.

If you are unsure you can request a copy of our maps.

If not, you will need to ensure you arrange this with the land owner.

Severn Trent can't give permission to you or your contractor to enter or carry out work on private land. You're responsible for arranging this.

If not, you do not need to apply yet.

Our approvals are valid for 6 months. If you don’t think you will be making your sewer connection in that time then now isn’t the right time to apply.

If you are now ready to apply, please return to our step-by-step process that will explain how to prepare and send an application to us.