All companies in the water sector have legal rights to access public sewers located on private land. These include sewers located below or near a property. If permission to construct a sewer has been granted, Severn Trent will still attempt to reach the sewage drainage channel without disturbing the land. If this is unavoidable, they will repair all damage caused within the limit of what is reasonable. If a sewer has been constructed without authorization, Severn Trent has the right to access the sewers and protect it by any means it deems appropriate. In extreme circumstances, this may involve all buildings that relate to a public sewer being modified or removed at the owner`s expense. Sometimes problems arise when homeowners try to sell their property, partially or entirely built over a public sewer. Winter gardens and extensions are the usual culprits. If no construction contract has been concluded during the execution of the work, the water company has the legal right to enter the land to access the sewers, even if this means that the structure above the sewers will be demolished. However, the Water Company will not cause damage to the extent possible and will look for other ways to access the sewers, but the risk remains. If a Build Over agreement has been reached, the water company is not allowed to remove or demolish the structure above the sewers. The other possibility is for the seller to give the buyer liability insurance in order to protect himself against the financial losses caused by the construction of the property via a public sewer. This is the fastest and cheapest option, but whether insurance is available or not depends on the circumstances of each case.
You should probably talk to your lawyer and/or local drainage company to find out more and check who was responsible for your outings before 2011. When private sewers were transferred in 2011, the majority of private sewers and sewers in England and Wales were transferred to the public. Thousands of kilometres of pipes – the repair and maintenance of which are responsible for by the owners (often without their knowledge) – were the responsibility of the water companies. While this was undoubtedly good news for homeowners, it created a legal grey area when these sewers were built by their former owners.