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Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to complete the consultation on the transfer of private sewers to sewerage undertakers; and if he will make a statement. (207159)

The Government announced in February 2007 their decision to transfer private sewers and lateral drains draining to the public sewerage system into water company ownership. We subsequently published a public consultation in July 2007 on implementation options for the proposed transfer. The consultation also posed questions on the scope of assets to be included in the transfer and ways in which the creation of new private sewers can be prevented.

A summary of responses was published in March 2008 and we are currently considering in detail the issues raised with the help of a steering group of key stakeholders. The work of the steering group will inform the decision on the timing of transfer and we expect to complete this by the summer.