In 2008 the government announced that 10 statutory water and sewerage companies will take over ownership of private sewers and lateral drains (which connect to the public sewer system). So, this is taking place from 1 October 2011. Privately owned pumping stations which meet the same criteria will also be adopted by sewerage/water companies on or before 1 October 2016.
At present, owner/occupiers are usually responsible for the sewage pipes that drain into public sewers, right to the point that it connects to those sewers. This can include pipes that go beyond the boundary of their properties. Unless a problem occurs, householders are often unaware that they are responsible for repairs and on-going maintenance to these pipes. Where problems do occur, the costs of repair can be high, and may lead to disputes between neighbours where responsibility is shared.
The transfer will give more effective maintenance of assets, reduce neighbour disputes over repair costs and will allow for a better approach to managing the sewerage network.
You do not need to do anything. The pipe transfer will happen automatically. Drainage pipes within your property boundary, which drain just your property, will remain your responsibility. However, it may still be worthwhile to have the section of drains that you are responsible for checked, as around 80% of drains that we have checked have been found to be defective; take a look on our “You Tube”.