What are the legislation changes?
In July 2011 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) passed the Private Sewerage transfer regulations: this was a two part process;
- Sewerage companies would become responsible for private sewers/drains from 1 October 2011
- Sewerage companies will become responsible for private pumping stations from 1 October 2016, which meet the eligibility criteria.
For pumping stations that do not meet the eligibility criteria, DEFRA have been consulting as to whether a specific set of regulations should be created.
All newly built private pumping stations therefore, would comply with and thus would be adopted by the relevant sewerage company as soon as they come into service, but this is currently only a future possibility.
The other option available, should your station be ineligible for adoption in October 2016, is to apply under Section 102 of the Water Industry Act to have your station adopted.
In line with the Water Industry Act, stations may need to be modified to meet the requirements before Thames Water will adopt it. This process requires an application fee.
Are you now responsible for the pumping station?
If the pumping station meets the following criteria, then we will now be responsible for it:
- Been in service prior to 1 July 2011
- Connected to the main sewerage network (either foul or surface water)
- And, either serve more than one property, or, sit outside of the curtilage (similar to boundary) of the property it serves
If you think your pumping station meets the criteria, please register the station.
If your pumping station does not meet the criteria, please contact our Developer Services team.
What can I do if my pumping station does not meet the criteria?
If your pumping station does not meet the criteria, please contact us to discuss other adoption routes that could be available to you.
I don’t want you to be responsible for my pumping station?
When the law changed in 2011, all customers were written to and given a chance to appeal against the change in legislation.
Any appeal against the adoption should have been sent to Ofwat within two months of receiving the notice. It is now too late to appeal against the adoption of an eligible pumping station as these transferred to us on 1 October 2016.
If you have missed the appeal date and have concerns about the adoption of your pumping station, please contact our dedicated private pumping station team on 0800 009 3979 so we can discuss your concerns. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm
Will I be reimbursed for any work I have paid out for?
Any work carried out on the pumping station before 1 October 2016, was your responsibility and we will not make any back payments for work that took place.
We will now cover the cost for any maintenance and repair work at the station because it is now our responsibility, we ask that you don’t try to gain access, complete any maintenance or make any changes to the station.
Will my water bill increase?
You will not see an increase in your water bill due to our adoption of your private pumping station.
Will it cost me?
There is no charge. We are now responsible for all eligible stations so we will cover all costs and be responsible for maintenance, repair and servicing of the station.
Do I still need a servicing contract?
We are now responsible for maintaining and repairing all eligible stations, so you will no longer need a servicing contract. It is your responsibility to end the contract with your Servicing Company.
What do I do now if the beacon starts flashing?
If you are concerned there is an issue with the pumping station or the beacon is flashing, please call us on 0800 009 3979, lines are open 24 hours a day. If you have the pumping station unique code (also known as a FLOC) to hand, this will make it easier for the team to identify the station.
Who looks after the servicing and emergencies?
Who pays the electricity after the station is taken over?
We are responsible for the electricity supply for the pumping station. You will have been responsible for any electricity costs up to the 1st October 2016.
You’ll be asked to fill out an online form which will provide us with the power supply information we need. In most circumstances, we will transfer the account into our name, you don’t need to do anything.
Once the ownership has transferred, your provider will send you your final electricity bill. Once this bill has been paid, your account will be closed down. You will not be penalised for terminating your contract early.
You'll simply be charged for the electricity you have used up to the 1st October 2016; the web form will provide us with the meter read to calculate this.
Where there is a complicated electricity supply set up, we may not take over the supply and we will ensure you are compensated for the running costs.
The electricity is supplying my pumping station and another property, what happens?
We will determine who the electricity is supplying and then arrange for the electricity supply to be split.
If the electricity supply to the pumping station also powers some communal apparatus such as access gates, or street lighting then we'll review the setup.
Depending on what we identify, we may wish to organise for the pumping station to have its own dedicated electrical supply. Alternatively, we may wish to leave the setup as it is and absorb the electrical costs for all the apparatus.
We will be happy to discuss this with you to ensure we reach the best possible arrangement moving forward.
I’m not sure who the electricity provider is for my pumping station?
This may have occurred as providers are not always sure where, or who, to send the bill too.
We will ask you to provide as much information as you can about your power supply though our online form and also ask for a picture of the electricity meter. We will then investigate who the electricity supplier is using this information
Is this related to my domestic electricity bill?
Your supplier may not have made it clear if the pumping station is included in your domestic billing or not.
If the electricity supply to the pumping station is dedicated, your bill should clearly state the MSN (meter serial number) and MPAN (meter point administration number) for the pumping station, if it does not, it is worth checking with your supplier first.
The MSN number is a combination of number and letters usually found by the barcode on the electricity meter:
The MPAN number is the bottom 13 digits of the supply number found on the electricity bill:
Is there anything I need to provide my electricity supplier with?
If you haven’t done so recently, you should provide your supplier with an up to date meter reading; your supplier may have been underestimating the charges on your electricity bill.
This will help you budget your electricity costs, and ensure you don't receive a final bill that's higher than expected once we adopt your pumping station.
There is a management company solely for the pumping station, will we still need it?
No. We are now responsible for any costs associated with the station as well as any improvements or maintenance work that may be needed.
Has the rising mains been adopted as part of the transfer of private pumping stations as well?
Yes. The rising mains also transferred to us with the eligible pumping stations they are connected to.
If a rising main crosses public land and is serving a pumping station not eligible for transfer, the station and rising main on private land remains as private but the section of the rising main on third party land will now be our responsibility.
How do I know if I am connected to a private pumping station?
There may be a kiosk, usually green or grey, containing electrical equipment along with a large manhole cover near to your property or in your street; this could be a pumping station.
If you are unsure, please get in touch as it may be a pumping station we have adopted. You can contact our team on; 0800 009 3979. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.
Do you need to see the drainage plans for the sewer/pumping station serving my property?
Yes. If you have these documents please send them to us. If you haven’t already, please complete our online form and one of our team will be in contact to collect all the relevant information about your station.
The station is on my private property, how will the access arrangements work?
We will agree any access on to private property with you before we visit the station for the first time.
The station is within a compound or building, will you take responsibility for that too?
We are now responsible for the station which includes the pump, wet well and kiosk. We are not responsible for any compound or building; however every case is different so we will talk to you about your particular set up.
Will the station look different?
We will try to make minimal changes to the look of your station; however in some circumstances we will need to carry out work which may result in changes to the stations appearance.
We will talk to you before we do any work, so you are aware of any changes.
There will also be a small sign on the control kiosk.
How can I get in contact?
If you have any queries or want more information, please contact our team on; 0800 009 3979
Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.