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Good News on Who Owns Your House Drains

In England there is a category distinction between sewers built before or after 1937. Sewers dating from after 1937, and that only serve your own home albeit that the drain line crosses somebody else’s land, are “private” or “lateral drains”. On the other hand if your house was constructed before 1st October 1937 and your drains are shared, serving two or more homes, then that drain line is a “public” sewer (a “section 24 sewer”).

Phased in from April 2011 this new proposal takes into public ownership all privately owned sewers and lateral drains (the bit outside of your plot boundaries).

Some housing will be connected to a private pumping station arrangement (before ultimate connection to the public mains sewer) and these properties must await further phasing announcements based upon Sewerage Authority inspection results. Also sewers that carry only surface water will transfer at a later date, yet to be announced.

It is stated that about 200,000 kilometres of private drain lines will be taken into public ownership (the Water and Sewerage Companies).

What many people do not realise when they buy housing is this potential problem area. Unless drains are tested/inspected by a specialist Drainage Contractor no definitive comment can be made on whether such drains are functional and it good condition. The repair or renewal cost of private drainage is very expensive, despite new repair techniques that do away, in some cases, with the need to physically dig up the old drains.

Currently the Water and Sewerage Companies are already liable for over 300,000 kilometres of public drains and so this is a very significant change and one that has consequences for all home owners. Yes, you’ve guessed it; a hike of about 7.5 pence per week (to about 23 pence) in the sewerage section of your utility bills. บริษัทรับสร้างบ้าน

As most properties have unique drainage system designs because of our diverse style and age of housing in England, most owners will not know the significance of the distinctions between the various drain line types and definitions. Indeed, in many cases you cannot tell unless a CCTV scan is completed.

We all saw the summer floods in 2007: we all know that the over-intensive house building program has created vast areas of water free land that was traditionally “flood plain” land thus increasing the chances of future estate flooding: we all see that water table heights have changed in our villages and towns and that this manifests is multiple and sometimes strange ways.

Whether these changes are simply due to changes in climate as opposed to global warming is not yet fully understood. What is known is that if you last out until April next year (2011) your expected massive bill for drainage works may not be quite as bad as you first thought.

The upshot of all this is that anybody buying housing now, and up-to-April-2011, needs to consider that if they have problems an educated decision will be needed on whether they should make-do and wait until mid-2011.

 

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