Section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991 provides a mechanism for newly constructed private sewerage and pumping stations, which will be "accepted" by the local sewer authority, which will then maintain them at their own expense. Existing drainage systems can also be proposed for adoption through a Section 102 (Water Industry Act 1991) agreement. Appropriate information must be provided to enable the Authority to determine whether sewers are suitable for acceptance. A technical audit and administration fee (VAT) is due for 2.5% of the estimated construction costs. If your research were to point out that sewers are subject to an adoption agreement, you should be aware that they are not currently owned by the water distribution company and that if things go wrong, it is not the water company that is responsible for the repair. It is also possible that the developer may not be able/unable to repair the sewers or, if they stop the business, the owners may be responsible for the sewers. We would always recommend checking who the developer is, if there are any likely complications, and the likely timing of acceptance. The adoption of a drainage system by a Section 38 agreement provides for a drainage system that will drain only a supposed highway. The drainage system takes only the flow of the supposed (or prospective) highways and no private drainage or drainage falls into the system. The last adoption authority is the local authority or the council. The cost of reaching such an agreement depends on the size of the development.
The usual course of drainage adoption for a new development is either through the agreement of Section 38 (Highways Act 1980) or by the Agreement Section 104 (Water Industry Act 1991) depending on who will take control of the drainage system. Sewers must be designed and constructed to meet sewer requirements for disposal and appropriate clearances must be available. If the connection to public sewers is necessary, a request to connect to the canal must be made in accordance with Section 106 of the Water Management Act. This is an agreement between the developer and the water company that sets the acceptance criteria. In short, the developer agrees to build the sewers to an agreed standard and wait for them for some time after the development is occupied, usually a few years. At the end of this period, unless there are any significant problems, the property will be transferred to the water company, which will then be responsible for the sewers in the future. The adoption of a drainage system by a section 104 agreement concerns a drainage system that drains private areas (such as roofs and driveways) as well as the drainage of highways (if both flow into the same pipeline system). The last authority to adopt is the Sewerage Undertaker. The cost of entering into such an agreement depends on the size of the development and drainage system required.