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Letter from the Water Authority.

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

We had a client come to us with a query about a letter which he had received from the water authority. He wanted some advice about how he should respond to the letter.

If you ever find yourself in the possession of one of these letters and want some advice as to what you should do about it, we’ve written some information here for you to reference at your own leisure, if you are still unsure after this please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’ll be happy to help.

We’ve been told by the water authority that clients shouldn’t worry about the letter as it’s a standard letter which they send out. When we make a Building Regulation Application with the building inspectors, they automatically write to check if the work will be over or near a sewer (technically, a sewer means a drain controlled or owned by the water authority). We nearly always check in advance as part of our feasibility scheme service. In the case of this client, according to the records, there was no sewer in the location that they wanted to build in, so no further action was required.

There is, however, a caveat to all of this. You never really know for sure until the builder begins excavating the foundations, this is because the water authorities' records are not always correct or accurate. In all fairness to them, it’s not their fault as the government forced the regional water authorities to take over all the drains which were shared by more than one house, and this includes all those drains put in by housing developers on housing estates all over the country, of course, the people who know where they actually are should be the developers, although, in truth, it was the man digging the trench and laying the drain. Thus occasionally, we find a sewer that was not recorded properly so we have to deal with it on-site.

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