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Last edited 15 Dec 2020
|The Thames tideway tunnel comprises a 24km long 7.2m diameter sewer running from Acton in the west to Abbey Mills in the east. It will have a holding storage capacity of 1.6 million cubic metres.|
A pipe that serves only one property is referred to as a drain. Drains are privately owned and maintained as far as the boundary of the property. Beyond the boundary of the property a drain is referred to as a public lateral drain.
The sewer system, that is, the underground network of pipes that carries sewage (waste water and excrement), other waste water and surface water run-off, from properties to treatment facilities or other disposal points is referred to as sewerage.
Under the Public Health Act 1936 all sewers (as defined by the Public Health Act 1875) which were in existence on 1 October 1937 became public sewers. After 1937 new sewers were only public if they were laid or adopted by the sewerage undertaker.
However, on 1 October 2011 in England and Wales, private sewers and lateral drains that were connected to the public sewer before 1 July 2011 were transferred to the ownership of the regulated sewerage companies (generally water companies).
Public sewers usually run under roads or public open spaces, but they may also run through private property such as gardens. The sewerage company has a right of access to these public sewers in order to maintain them.
Permission is required from the sewerage company to build over a public sewer. Failure to obtain permission may result in the withholding of a building regulations completion certificate. For more information see: http://secure.thameswater.co.uk/cps/rde/xbcr/corp/building-over-a-public-sewer.pdf
The route of existing mapped public sewers can be determined by inspecting local authority records or by contacting the local sewerage company. There may also be details in property deeds. However, many public sewers are not mapped. In this case, it may be necessary to carry out inspections from manholes, to undertake an electronic sewer trace or to dig trial holes.
- A surface water drain or sewer is a pipe that carries only surface water, not foul water.
- A foul water drain or sewer is a pipe that carries waste water from a property such as from a toilet, bath, washing machine and so on. Surface water should not discharge into a foul water drain or sewer, as this can cause flooding of foul water.
- A rising main is a pressurised sewer that can be used to pump foul or surface water.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Clarified water.
- Difference between drains and sewers.
- Grease management.
- Private sewer.
- Safe working in drains and sewers.
- Sanitary pipework.
- Section 102 existing sewer adoption.
- Section 104 new sewer adoption.
- Septic tank.
- Sewer construction.
- Sustainable urban drainage systems SUDS.
- Thames Tideway Tunnel.
- The redevelopment of Leicester's sewerage system by Joseph Gordon.
- Waste water.
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