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Sewers: Private Sector

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of anticipated changes to charges to households from the transfer of private drains and sewers in England and Wales to the ownership of the statutory water and sewerage companies from 2011. (277364)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 15 December 2008 that privately owned sewers and lateral drains in England will be transferred to water and sewerage companies from 2011. The accompanying impact assessment indicated an average rise of £10 per year on all sewerage bills, varying from £4 to £12 across different companies in England and Wales. This equates to around 7.5 pence to 23 pence a week.

Such increase must be balanced against the potential for significant bills for repair and maintenance which householders can currently face, often unexpectedly finding that they own a section of private drain or sewer beyond their property's curtilage.

Transfer in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly Government, which announced as part of its Strategic Policy Position Statement on Water on 31 March that it will pursue the development of regulations in 2011 to facilitate the transfer of private sewers.