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Last edited 11 Nov 2021
Dewatering refers to the removal of groundwater and/or surface water from a site before construction work commences. Passive dewatering occurs when groundwater is discharged to the surface under the influence of gravity. It is classed as a form of water abstraction (the act of taking water from a source of supply).
Most passive dewatering schemes are small and do not pose a risk to the environment or water table. In these instances, it may not be necessary to obtain a water abstraction licence from the Environment Agency.
Additional guidance on passive dewatering is available from the Environment Agency, [[w/index.php?title=W/index.php%3Ftitle%3DW/index.php%3Ftitle%3DRef_https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/passive-dewatering-regulatory-position-statement/passive-dewatering-regulatory-position-statement%26action%3Dedit%26redlink%3D1%26action%3Dedit%26redlink%3D1&action=edit&redlink=1|Passive dewatering: regulatory position statement]] (RPS). This guidance states that an RPS only applies to abstractions that were exempt under section 29(1) of the Water Resources Act 1991 (before section 5 of the Water Act 2003 was published). This includes passive dewatering, for example to:
- Prevent flooding to roads and railway cuttings.
- Prevent interference with mining, quarrying, engineering or building operations.
- Provide back wall drainage at landfill sites.
- Dewatering construction sites.
- Environment Agency.
- Raising awareness of dewatering regulation.
- Water abstraction licence.
- Water engineering.
- Water impoundment licence.
- Water management.
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