The surface water sewer serving my property has been subject to a S104 sewer adoption agreement for several years. Can you explain the delay?

All section 104 agreements take a few years to see through to completion. However, in recent years, there’s been a situation where the foul sewers are adopted, but the surface water aren’t. This is because on some developments, the foul assets transferred into the public ownership as part of the 2011 sewer transfer, but the related surface water assets remained under a S104 agreement. This is usually the case where surface water discharges into a watercourse and not the public network, meaning they were not eligible for automatic transfer in 2011.

In these situations, it can also take significantly longer for the surface water assets to be adopted. Developers must resolve any outstanding legal issues relating to easement rights to discharge into watercourses prior to adoption. However, there may also be some operational issues which are delaying adoption such as surveys that need to be completed or remedial work that the developer needs to resolve prior to adoption. As the developer is the owner of the sewers until adoption, they are best placed to confirm when they will have everything ready for the sewers to be adopted.