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Connecting to a sewer

If you're planning to connect or reconnect to one of our sewers, you’ll need our consent before you go ahead. We need to check the connection will work as planned and that it won’t potentially cause problems like sewer flooding or pollution. We have legal duties around this, set out in Section 94 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (‘the Act’).

Sewer connections can be made directly to a public sewer under Section 106 of the Act or indirectly to a private drain that in turn discharges to a public sewer. Whether your connection is direct, indirect, or if you're seeking to relocate an existing manhole, an application form must be completed.

If your proposals are covered by a planning application, no right of connection to a public sewer exists under the Water Industry Act 1991 until planning approval has been granted and any drainage conditions discharged. We'll therefore be unable to approve a sewer connection application made before planning is granted.

What you need to do before you apply

For help understanding our process, please check out our step-by-step guide:

What happens after you’ve applied

Trunk and chemical sewers

In some circumstances, you may be able to connect to a trunk or chemical sewer under Section 107 of the Act. However, connecting directly to them can be complex and dangerous so permission is often refused. If we refuse your connection, you’ll need to find an alternative sewer or method of discharge.

Connections to these more complex sewers should only be considered if no alternative points of connection are available. If you decide a connection to a trunk or chemical sewer is the only option and we allow your connection, we’ll need to do this work ourselves.

Trunk sewers in London

We don’t allow connections to trunk sewers in greater London – instead, you will need to choose an alternative point of connection to a non-trunk sewer or requisition a new connection and associated pipe laying from us. As part of this process, we’ll select a suitable connection point, which may not be your preferred connection point.

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