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Sewer Closure: In some circumstances it may be possible to close a public sewer so that it can be abandoned, which may remove a potential restriction from any future development of the site and may make any site remediation works easier.
A sewerage undertaker may prohibit the future use of, and close, a public sewer, under Section 116 of the Water Industry Act 1991. Section 116 also allows us to restrict the future use of a public sewer.
Although a sewerage undertaker may close a public sewer (i.e. prohibit the future use of it), the sewer still remains their responsibility. There is no mechanism in law for a public sewer to become de-vested. A public sewer cannot, therefore, become a private sewer nor the responsibility of someone else.
Before we consider applying to close part of the public sewer network, we need to be absolutely certain that the length being considered is no longer in use and has become redundant.
To satisfactorily determine redundancy usually requires a closed circuit television [CCTV] survey of the public sewer and any private drainage connection, We'll arrange for a CCTV survey to be carried out and get written evidence organised and submitted.
For a closure to take place, a manhole is required at the new head (i.e. upstream point) of the public sewer. If a manhole is not already present at this location, we will design a new manhole and supervise construction to ensure compliance with Water Authorities requirements.
Once a public sewer has been closed we will ensure that we hold a certificate confirming the particulars. We oversee the satisfactory abandoned sewer as soon as practicable after the formal closure. Our team will meet with and liaise with inspector monitoring the abandonment works.
Generally the preferred method of abandonment is for it to be grubbed up (excavated) together with any redundant chambers. Where grubbing up is not practicable, the closed public sewer should be sealed and filled with grout. As a public sewer will no longer exist once it has been grubbed up, we will ensure that it is removed from Statutory Sewer Map
Water Authority will update the Statutory Sewer Map to reflect any closure. Generally grubbed up sewers are removed from the map and grouted ones are shown as abandoned.
All of the costs involved in a public sewer closure associated with demolition are the responsibility of the applicant/developer. We'll make reasonable charges to cover the cost of any CCTV survey works and the administration/inspections involved with the process.
Following any formal closure of a public sewer, the abandonment works (i.e. grubbing out/grouting up etc.) are at the applicant/developers expense and are usually carried out by them to their satisfaction.
Call 0207 536 2778