Last edited 03 Jan 2018

Section 102 existing sewer adoption

See also: Section 102 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 enabling a notice to be issued ordering the discontinuing use, or alteration or removal of buildings or works.


Section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991 provides a mechanism for newly-constructed private sewers and pumping stations to be ‘adopted’ by the local sewerage authority, who will then maintain them at their own expense.

However, sometimes sewers are not adopted when they are constructed. The most common reasons for this are that they have not been constructed to the required standards or that they are in inaccessible locations.

Section 102 of the Water Industry Act, allows the owners of existing private sewers and associated apparatus to apply for them to be ‘adopted’ by the local sewerage authority, who will then maintain them at their own expense.

Authorities may consider adopting private sewers if they are of a suitable construction, they form part of the general sewerage system for the area and they are accessible.

The applicant must first submit general information about the sewer to the authority, who will consider whether it may be appropriate for adoption. Further information is then submitted about the condition of the sewer, and it may then be necessary to carry out remedial works to bring it up to an adoptable standard, as set out in ‘Sewers for Adoption – a Design and Construction Guide for Developers’. An application fee is payable and any direct or associated costs must be met by the applicant.

There is then a statutory 2 month period for objection to the adoption, after which, the sewer may be adopted as a public sewer.

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