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Do I need to submit a S106 application for my drainage connection?

The following answer is based on the Link team’s collective experience, which includes involvement in hundreds of projects of varying scales from inception through to construction on site, across the UK over the past 15 years.

Our simple answer is: If your drainage proposals discharge directly or indirectly to the public sewerage network then, yes.

To start to look at this in more detail, we first must understand what Section 106 of the Water Industry Act (1991) means. This section of the act gives developers rights to discharge their foul and surface water to the public sewers, owned and maintained by the local water company. However, in order to exercise this right to discharge, the developer is obliged to give the local water company notice of what flows they intend to discharge into their asset and the method by which this connection shall be made. Once notified, the local water company then have 21 days to provide a response approving the connection or deferring approval due to insufficient capacity in the receiving system or below standard connection proposals.

There are two types of S106: direct and indirect. A direct S106 is when the connection requires a physical connection to the public sewerage network, a new manhole on an existing public sewer, saddle connection or a connection into an existing adopted manhole. An indirect S106 is when the connection utilises an existing private outfall into the public sewerage network. In this case there are no physical works to the public sewerage network as the connection is made upstream to a private manhole or pipe.

The purpose of the S106 is to agree with the water company both the connection type and construction methodology as well as to notify them of the increase in flows into their system so that they can manage the flows within their network and plan any upgrade works required. As such although an indirect S106 has no physical works associated with it, an agreement still needs to be entered into in order to notify the water company of the flows entering their system from the proposed development.

As described above, the S106 application forms must be submitted by the organisation completing the physical connection. This is because it revolves around the methodology of constructing the connection and as such it is typical for the contractor to fulfil this obligation on behalf of the client, as method statements, risk assessments and health & safety policies must be provided. As a design consultant Link are happy to assist with providing information about the method of connection and flows for inclusion in this application.

It should be noted that in certain circumstances, such as connecting to strategic sewers, the water company may have specialist requirements such as requiring the works to be undertaken by themselves or one of their approved contractors.

If your drainage proposals do not discharge to a public sewer then a Section 106 agreement shall not be required. However, an alternative consent may be required in its place with an alternative authority, such as the Environment Agency (EA) for main rivers, the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) for ordinary watercourses, the Canal & River Trust (CRT) for canals or the Internal Drainage Board (IDB) for areas with managed watercourses.

If you have a concern about what type of consents you may be required to enter into as part of your proposed development, please contact us at: and we would be more than happy to provide you with some site specific advice.

Apr 19, 2022