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Sewers: Private Sector

Volume 501: debated on Wednesday 25 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps he has taken to enable private sewers to be transferred to water and sewerage undertakers; and if he will make a statement. (301133)

On 15 December 2008 the Secretary of State announced the Government's decision to transfer all private sewers and lateral drains linked to the public sewerage system from 2011. Since that announcement officials have been working to prepare proposals to prevent the proliferation of new private sewers as a precursor to the transfer of the existing stock. The proposals are contained in the Flood and Water Management Bill, which was presented to Parliament on 19 November.

The Bill's provisions will ensure that, in future, all new sewers and lateral drains connecting to the public sewerage system will be required to be built to a mandatory standard and will be automatically adopted by water and sewerage companies as public sewers.

Officials have also been developing detailed proposals for regulations to implement the transfer of existing private sewers and lateral drains that will be the subject of consultation this winter, prior to the regulations themselves being presented to Parliament for approval.