Public sewer connection dispute under section 101A

Appeal to the Environment Agency if you have been refused connection to the public sewer.

How to appeal

Sewerage undertakers have a duty to provide a public sewer at their own expense under section 101A of the Water Industry Act 1991 (s101A) where certain criteria are met.

Applications to sewerage undertakers for public sewers under s101A are usually made by local residents or the relevant local council. The sewerage undertaker then carries out an assessment of the application and decides whether it believes a duty exists to provide a public sewer under s101A.

Where an application has been made to the sewerage undertaker and you are unhappy with their decision you can ask the Environment Agency to make a determination about:

  • whether the sewerage undertaker should provide a public sewer under s101A
  • when the sewerage undertaker should provide that public sewer by

The Environment Agency can determine disputes impartially, by separating their role in the provision of environmental information and any discussion of applications being assessed by the sewerage undertakers, from their determination of any subsequent disputes.

Environment Agency criteria for making decisions

The Environment Agency make decisions on disputes referred to them under s101A on the basis of the legislation and the associated guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

A copy of this guidance is available from the Environment Agency on request.

When making decisions on these disputes they assess whether:

  • the drainage of premises in the relevant area is adversely affecting, or is likely to adversely affect, the environment or amenity
  • any such adverse effects are from an existing sewerage system or systems serving more than one building (s101A is not applicable where problems relate to only one building)
  • the drainage of those premises is for domestic sewerage purposes
    • domestic sewerage purposes include the contents of lavatories, water used for cooking and similar domestic activities, but does not mean that the building concerned has to be residential
  • the relevant premises are currently connected to a public sewer

Where the criteria above are met, the Environment Agency will also consider the comparative cost and practicability of alternative solutions, as well as any other relevant considerations.

Contact the Environment Agency

For more information on any aspect of s101A, please contact:

Environment Agency

PO Box 544

S60 1BY

Details of call charges.

Published 2 April 2014