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how to tell if our property is connected to the main sewage system??

(9 Posts)
elsa12 Sun 18-Dec-16 06:27:45

Hi everyone,

I'm really desperate to figure out if our property is connected to the water company's sewage system or not?! Basically, the company says we are but its a newly built estate and half the houses are not yet (they are apparently done to a tank). The site developer said 2 years ago that we were not connected then (although they say loads of things!..) but now the water company is saying that we have been connected ever since we moved in. One of them is talking rubbish and I would like to figure out which one is wrong! Are there such things as water pipe plans we can access from the council or somewhere else (apart from the main water company)??
Thanks for any advice!!

lovelearning Sun 18-Dec-16 06:48:24

You're flushing your toilets and they're not backing up: Pay your water bill.

Sunseed Sun 18-Dec-16 06:53:51

If not connected to a sewer then where is the location of the septic tank? It's got to be one or the other (or possibly a reed bed system but you would definitely know if that was the case).

Muddlingthroughtoo Sun 18-Dec-16 06:59:51

We have a chamber under the drive which gets pumped up to the main sewers when it's full. If you weren't connected, you would know. It's one of the first things they told us when we looked at the house.

Chottie Sun 18-Dec-16 07:02:03

Hi -I'm not sure whether this situation is what you mean, so do ignore this message if it is not.

I live in road of 7 houses in a cul de sac. The top two houses are connected directly to the main sewage system.

The bottom four houses are connected by via a pumping system which is housed in the front garden of one of the properties. We pay an annual fee for pump maintenance direct to the person who has the pump housed in their garden. The pump is there to pump everything up to the main sewage system. (When the houses were built, some existing neighbours refused access to their land, so hence the pumping system).

We pay a reduced charge to water company because of this, so it is really worth looking in to. There is no point in paying twice for the same service!.

BabyAlexander Sun 18-Dec-16 07:06:45

I ditto the answer above. I bought a second hand new build that was 3 years old. We pay management fees for the village as roads weren't adopted, general upkeep etc. At first this included our water too, something to do with a pumping station, I didn't have to question it as it had been sorted. It eventually got taken over by a water company so we pay them and management fees reduced accordingly.

Of course you're connected to the mains, it's unlikely to be a septic tank or backing up(!) but you'll need to be paying someone.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Sun 18-Dec-16 07:27:18

Hi OP, I'm a civil engineer.

Just to clarify, some pps are talking about permanent septic tanks etc. This is a bit of a red herring as not relevant to your case.

It is perfectly plausible for the developer to have phased the works in such a way that you are not yet connected to the mains foul drainage yet. Admittedly it's unusual as it will cost them to have a tank emptied but this may have made sense at the time.

So, there are two things you can do. Firstly, ask the developer to confirm the exact date that the connection was made from the site drainage to the public sewer. This is a not insignificant task requiring various approvals and permissions, so they will know! Equally, you can ask the water company for the same information. They typically charge for a records/asset search but in this case you should be able to ask for that to be waived given they're trying to prove you owe them money.

It's also worth noting that one issue that could be confusing things is that, for almost all new developments, surface water is connected to a soakaway and not to the public sewerage system like the foul will be. Make sure the developer and water company are talking about the same thing!

Hope that helps

elsa12 Sun 18-Dec-16 11:37:59

Thanks everyone for thr advice!

'lovelearning': the sewage water can go to different places as you will see from other notes: main sewage, septic tank etc. Thanks. And we do pay and been always paying the bill, that is actually the main point: the water company has been overcharging most residents for almost a year or so and now having to refund them for sewage charge as they havent been connected yet but still paying the company for it.
'lastnightiwenttomanderley' Thank you very much, will speak to both companies. The developer has really been paying for the tank to be emptied 3 times a week for a long time, which is pretty crazy considering how much it costs. But that's what this developer is like: a complete chaossmile The developer told us in 2015 that our stinky bathrooms were due to the tank being full up before emptying day. Im not sure if they just said sg at the time or was it the real cause. I suppose he meant the foul water?! A month ago, I spoke to the developers customer service who told me that after consulting the water company they were told that we were not connected yet. Now the water company sent me a letter saying that we are connected and been ever since we moved her 3 years ago.. Would it be possible for either of them to lie about it? Thanks again

Ollycat Mon 19-Dec-16 06:07:39

I can't offer you any advice re situation on your development I'm afraid.

Re stinky bathrooms- we are not on mains drainage and until we recently put in our new septic tank (oh the glamour of it!!) had to be pumped every 3 weeks and the tank was generally full / backed up. Our bathrooms however were never stinky so I would recommend you look into this further.

I would imagine your water board will know whether you're mains sewerage- ours certainly do.

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