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Ofwat approve water industry plans to adopt sewerage assets

Water companies have seen their proposals for new sector guidance on sewerage asset adoption given the go-ahead from the water industry regulator.

The sector was challenged by Ofwat in 2017, through its Code for Adoption Agreements, to devise new standards for the construction, by developers, of new sewerage assets that are to be transferred to the local water company.

The new rules, which come into force in April 2020, will provide clear, uniform and comprehensive guidance which will help accelerate house building by smoothing the transfer of ownership and responsibility. This will ensure the assets are effectively managed and maintained.

The new rules also set standards for developers constructing Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) for new housing. This means water companies can quickly and easily take over management and maintenance of the SuDS once the development has been completed.

SuDS are natural and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional drainage systems which take pressure off the main sewerage network, help prevent surface run off and, ultimately, pollutants entering rivers and streams.

The new code represents many hundreds of hours of work involving the industry and its developer customers.

The work, which was led by Water UK on behalf of the sector, included drafting a new form of adoption agreement, a standardised set of delivery procedures, a redress system based on levels of service commitments, rules for the new governance panel and a Design and Construction Guidance document (DCG), replacing the long-standing (but voluntary) Sewers for Adoption manual.

ENDS

For more information please contact the Water UK communications team on 020 7344 1805 or comms@water.org.uk