A picture of a drainage engineer holding a drain camera down a manhole.

Although you may not think much about sewers, they actually provide a very valuable service to homes all across the UK. Sewers are often located near the private property so it’s often dependent on the locals to help make sure that they remain functional.

In October 2011, new legislation was implemented which affects new home improvements. Any new home improvement projects must have made the right provisions to ensure that the work has been approved by your local water board. With this new legislation, how should you go about this? In this article, we have provided more information about sewers and how a drain inspection is needed for a build over the agreement.

The Importance of Sewers

The sewer system is an integral part of modern life as it helps to separate waste in order to keep our homes and streets clean and hygienic. Most of us don’t think too much about what happens to the water that gets collected in the storm drains or excess water that gets flushed down the toilet or bathtub. This is because the modern sewer system takes care of all of this for us. The only time we think about our sewage system is when there is a problem.

For this reason, when extending your home, you must establish if the future development will be built too closely or built over a public sewer. If the extension will be too close or will be built over an existing public sewer, then you will need to get the right consent from the relevant sewerage company before you start your project. This is applicable to all types of building projects.

When seeking consent, you will need to show consideration for potential pipe damage in your plans and you should also be able to ensure continued access to the sewers for maintenance.

Why have a Drainage Inspection?

When it comes to checking drains or drainage pipework, drain camera inspection are perfect for checking the conditions of your drain pipes and where they are placed. By using a remote-controlled camera that is fed in through the piping network, you will be able to identify any problems with the drains. For home improvement projects, it’s important that you check your drains to see if you might run into any sewer problems.

At Drain 247, our expert drainage engineers have years of experience in providing domestic and commercial surveys. If you need a sewer line evaluation, then please get in touch with us.

Self-Certification & Build Over Agreement – What Are My Options?

If you have a home improvement project and you find that the project will be too close or will be built over a sewer system, then there are two options for getting approval from your local water board. These are a self-certification declaration and a build over the agreement.

Self-Certification Declaration

You can get automatic approval by submitting a self-certification declaration form. If the pipes are 150mm or less in diameter, then you may be applicable for this form. You can obtain these declaration forms from your local water board, but there may be an application fee.

The form will contain a list of questions that you will need to answer and once you have submitted the form, it can take 10-14 days for your declaration to be approved.

Some of the questions that are in the form may include:

  • What are the conditions of your pipes?
  • What materials are your pipes made of?
  • Can you provide confirmation that a pipe condition assessment has been undertaken?
  • Will any manholes be affected?

Build Over Agreement

If you don’t qualify for a self-certification declaration, then an alternative is a build over the agreement. A build over agreement must be sought out if any of the following applies to your project:

  • Building close to a pressurized sewer or building over one.
  • Building close to a pitch fibre pipe or building over one.
  • Building over or close to sewers up to 225mm.
  • Building over or close to sewers that have a diameter of 300mm or greater.
  • Manhole, rodding eye, inspection chambers within your project, or within 500mm of a project.
  • Using a raft foundation for building works.
  • Using a piled foundation for building works.

The fees for this agreement can be more costly, usually by £100 or more. It will also require your property to be assessed before and after the project which means that you will need to undertake two drain surveys.

If you have obtained approval, then your home will have to follow the conditions set out by the water authority to make sure that the sewers are protected and unaffected by your project.

Contact Drain 247 for Build Over Surveys in London & Hertfordshire

If you require any more information or have any queries regarding Build Over Agreements or drain survey and what to do, then please contact our drainage experts. Call us on 0800 612 8038 or you can complete our quick enquiry form to get your free, no-obligation quote