Build Over Surveys

If you are planning on building an extension or undertaking building works over or near to a local authority sewer, then you may required to conduct a build over survey to gain permission from your local water supplier in order to carry out the works. For more information, or to book a build over survey, please contact our team today.

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In October 2011, legislation was implemented that affects new home improvements. Any new home improvements you undertake, such as an extension, must have the correct provisions to ensure the work has been improved by your local water board.

When extending your property, or conducting building works close to (within 3 metres), or built over a public sewer you will now require consent from the relevant sewage company before you can start you project.

You will not only need to show consideration for potential pipe damage in your building plans, but also ensure proper access to the sewers for any future maintenance. Once approval has been given can you commence construction.

Build Over Surveys

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Self Certification Vs. Build Over Agreement

There are two ways you can get approval for your project from your local water board. These are a self-certification declaration and a build over agreement.

Self-Certification Declaration

If your pipes are 150mm or less in diameter you can get automatic approval by submitting a self-certification declaration form. This form can be obtained from your local water board, but please bear in mind that there is often and application fee.

Once the form has been completed, it can take 10-14 days for your declaration to be approved. Some of the questions contained on the self-certification form may include…

  • What condition is your pipework in?
  • What material are your pipes made of?
  • Will there be any manholes affected?
  • Confirmation that a CCTV drain survey has been carried out?
  • Will the pipes be at least 500m from the external face of your building?
  • Provisions for pipe safety if walls are constructed above?

Build Over Agreement

If you don’t qualify for a self-certification declaration, then you will have to apply for a build over agreement. The fees for this agreement are typically more costly and will also require that your property is assessed before and after the project which will mean you need to undertake two separate CCTV drain surveys.

A build over agreement must be sought if any of the following applies to your project…

  • Using a piled foundation for building works
  • Using raft foundation for building works
  • Building over or close to a pressurised sewer
  • Building over or close to a pitch fibre pipe
  • Building over or close to sewers up to 225mm
  • Building over or close to sewers 300mm diameter or greater
  • Sewers with a Legal Easement affected
  • Manhole, inspection chambers or rodding eye within extensions or within 500mm of an extension

If approval is given, you will have to follow the conditions set out by your local water authority to ensure any sewers are protected and unaffected by your project. Another thing to watch out for, is that if you don’t acquire approval during your final post-construction assessment, you could be liable for any alterations or repairs the water company demands. This could include such things as installing a new manhole cover, or even buying new pipes.