Adopting sewers and other assets

We can formally agree with you that we'll adopt a sewer or a pumping station, prior to construction. Make an application, pay for your quote and find out more about our levels of service.

Your local practice consultation

You may know that Ofwat is implementing a new Code for Adoptions on the 1 April 2020.

This will be the new regulated process for the adoption of new sewerage assets under Section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, combining what was the industry’s technical document ‘Sewers for Adoption’ into the regulated standards to create the Design and Construction Guidance (DCG).

This means, following the launch of DCG in April, ‘Sewers for Adoption’ will no longer be relevant across England.

We’re updating our local practices to align with the DCG. In accordance with the Code for Adoptions Sector Guidance Clause 2.6.2 to 2.6.5, we’d like to hear your feedback before we publish them.

Working groups from across the industry, including water companies, developers and consultants, have collaborated to create a suite of new industry documents to supplement the new Code for Adoptions.

These include the Design and Construction Guidance (DCG), model agreements, levels of service and other guidance documents, which you can find on WaterUK.

As outlined in the Sector Guidance Clause 2.6, we can also define two local practices that deviate from the published DCG. These can be used for:

  • Requirements for easements for surface water discharges to watercourses, bodies of water, sewers within third-party land, and sewers that may form part of another feature
  • Pumping station design requirements beyond those in the DCG

Our local practices include specific requirements that you’ll need to follow when constructing your new sewerage assets. That’s why we’d like to hear your feedback before we finalise them.

To comply with the local practice rules within the Code, it’s important that we consult all our stakeholders about our proposed local practices.

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback on:

  • our proposed local practice documents
  • their specific technical requirements
  • the reasons and occurrences when we’ll need them
  • how we plan to implement them

After we’ve received your feedback, we’ll publish a summary of the comments as well as our responses.

We’ll confirm what we’ll include and exclude in our final documents and why, plus share more about how the practice supports the principles of the Code.

We plan to introduce these local practices as soon as possible after the Code for Adoptions goes live on 1 April 2020.

Proposed local practices


  • Let us know if you disagree with any of the technical elements of the local practice
  • Provide examples of where you believe it may be difficult to comply
  • Share any other comments

Send your thoughts to by 31 January 2020.

Apply to adopt a new sewer (Section 104)

On adoption, the sewer and any associated pumping stations will become part of our sewerage network and be maintained at our expense. We currently follow the model agreement set out in Sewers for Adoption 6th edition. You will be responsible for all costs associated with the sewer before it’s adopted.

We have different service levels, depending on the stage of the adoption process. To find out more, and how we compare to other companies, please visit the Water UK website.

Please refer to our guidance notes to help you with your application.

Apply online

If you would prefer to post your application, please use the link below to download the form.

Apply to adopt an existing sewer (Section 102)

We adopt existing sewers and pumping stations that pass Section 102 of the Water Industry Act 1991. This requires the assets to be properly designed, constructed and maintained. Once we adopt these as public assets, we will maintain them at our expense.However, all costs prior to adoption are at your expense.

Please refer to our guidance notes to help you with your application.

Please refer to our guidance notes to help you with your application.

Apply online

If you would prefer to post your application, please use the link below to download the form.

For details on how we’ll use the information you provide in your application, click here.

Adopting sewage treatment works

If you'd like us to adopt an existing or new sewage works please email us, mentioning ‘Adopting a treatment works’ in the subject line.

Additional payments

Please use this link if you want to make an additional payment related to your application. Additional payments

Our service levels

You can read about the three performance measures we report against, and what we’ll do if we fail to meet our targets, here.