Build Over CCTV Drain Surveys
Building Near a Sewer – Unblock Cumbria’s Guide
Four Simple Steps to Take When Planning Your Extension
What’s the problem? Well, in 2011 the ownership of shared private drains in England & Wales transferred to the Utility Companies. These Companies have maps of the drains which, by and large, are at the front of the houses in the roads, but the connecting private drains tend to be at the rear of the property and generally, there are no maps of these drains. When extensions are planned they tend to be built at the rear or side of the property and so can interfere with these shared drains.
When the ownership transferred so did the responsibility for the shared sewers; rights of access to these shared sewers were granted to the Utility Companies and they can refuse permission for building work even when you own the land. The same rules that apply to the sewers in the road at the front of your house now apply to those that you might have in your back garden.
These rules are straightforward; you may not damage the sewer, you may not build within three metres of the sewer without taking precautions; the sewer might need to be diverted to allow the extension work to proceed; you may not build over a manhole and you may not make a connection into the sewer without permission. These requirements must be met before work starts otherwise your works may not be granted permission from Building Control.
So, what are the Four Simple Steps?
1. Step 1: When you have your plans let the local Utility Company know what you intend to do. They will advise on any known public sewers within range of the work.
2. Step 2: Engage a profession CCTV survey Company to map the existing drainage and plot the position and depth of the sewers. This Company will need to gain authorization from the Utility to do this work.
3. Step 3: Agree with the Utility company any protective work during building works and commence building.
4. Step 4: At the end of building repeat the CCTV inspection work to demonstrate that the shared sewer has not been affected by the building work
If you are planning an extension or other building works then ask your architect / technician to contact us to discuss the drainage aspects of the work. We have accredited, qualified staff with the approved equipment who are authorized to inspect the public sewers. Call us today on 01900 870140 to discuss your project.