A Section 106 application is a must if you’re building a new house, or extending (or perhaps renovating) an existing property – if you need to connect to a public sewer, then you need to seek the permission of your local water authority, and that is where this type of application comes in.
As any sewer connection contractor will tell you, a well-designed, compliant connection is important for ensuring that there are no future drainage problems relating to the property’s sewerage system. Badly made sewer connections can block more easily, creating problems with smells and flies, and of course the last thing anybody wants is raw sewage backing up into their home. Additionally, if you don’t ensure compliance by properly applying for, and receiving, your consent to connect, it’s an offence under the Water Industry Act 1991 – the authorities can remove your connection, holding you liable for the costs involved.
Direct and indirect public sewer connections
Whether you intend to connect to a public sewer directly or indirectly, you must complete a Section 106 application. A direct connection is exactly as it sounds – connecting directly to the public sewer – while an indirect connection is where you connect to a drain which discharges into a public sewer. Most of the UK’s public sewer network is made up of local sewers, which connect to trunk sewers. As connections to trunk sewers are rarely given permission, you will need to find the closest local sewer for your new connection.
Finding your nearest public sewer is usually a case of ordering an asset location search through your local water company – many of them offer this service online through Digdat. This will give you all the essential information needed to design the sewer connection for your Section 106 application, including the location of sewage and water pipes close to your property or site, their sizes and the direction of flow, plus (where recorded) pipe depths and cover levels. If you prefer, you could visit your local authority’s offices to inspect their public sewer map.
Making your Section 106 application
Once these important details have been obtained, the sewer connection will need to be designed and plans prepared – they can be prepared by anyone, but it’s wise to take professional advice at this early stage, so that your application isn’t delayed by missing information or mistakes in the design. Drawings must include the exact location of the public sewer connection, and how the private drainage system will connect to the public sewer, including pipe sizes and depths. If planning permission is a requirement of your development, you will also need to submit this decision notice along with your sewer connection plans and application details.
It’s important to note each water authority’s specific requirements for a Section 106 application, as there may be differences – have a look at the guidance available online, such as this information published by Thames Water, Anglian Water and Southern Water. There are also different ways of submitting your application to connect to a public sewer, depending on which local water authority
you are applying to. Anglian Water applications are made online through InFlow, while Thames Water offers the choice of a downloadable PDF form and an online application, and Southern Water applications are made online.
Use the expertise of your sewer connection contractor
The most efficient way of getting Section 106 consent to connect to a public sewer is to let your sewer connection contractor take care of the whole process – from the initial asset location search through the design process, implementing the works, and getting the final sign-off.
Our customers frequently choose this option, since our 40-year experience in public sewer connections means that we’re able to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s crossed, for efficient, first-time approval (which saves money by keeping fees to a minimum, and avoiding delays on site. To find out more about how we support our clients with this, and for free advice on your sewer connection works, call 01268 950050 or send us an email to [email protected].