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Surface Water Drainage

Example of the different types of surface water drainage connections

Surface water drainage - some important questions

Please read the following, which may help you determine if you qualify for the lower charge.

What is surface water?

Surface water is rain or melted snow that drains from the roof of your property and other impermeable areas such as driveways. It normally drains into a highway drains or road gulley and then into our sewers. Sometimes the surface water drains into a soakaway in the garden.

What is soakaway and do I have one?

A soakaway is a bit of absorbent ground which surface water drains into.
However, because this ground isn't always obvious to the eye, there will be no clear signs that water from your property takes this route.

You may need to check your property title deeds, or visit the local authority to have a look at the original Planning Application (if available), to confirm that the surface water from your property drains into a soakaway.

If I’m not connected to your sewerage services, can I get a reduction in charges?

If your foul water drains into a cesspit, septic tank or private drainage system, your bill shouldn’t include a charge for sewerage service. The charge for surface water is included in the sewerage charge therefore no allowance will be given.

How can I reduce my fixed charge?

If you can show that none of the surface water from your property drains to the public sewerage system, either directly or through intermediate sewers or drains, you can reduce your fixed sewerage charge.

We may charge some customers for the water they use but another company will charge for water recycling services. If this is the case, please contact the other company directly for details of their charges.

How will the reduction show on my bill?

If you pay the Rateable Value charge - your amended bill will show a charge for ‘Foul only’ instead of ‘Foul and Surface’ on the sewerage section of the bill.

If you pay by metered charges - your amended bill will show a charge for ‘Foul only’ instead of ‘Foul and Surface’ on the sewerage section of the bill. The fixed sewerage charges will appear lower over the billing year.

Why don’t you back backdate the reduction in charges?

A reduced charge for non-connected properties was introduced in 2000 and since that date we have asked customers to let us know if their charge is incorrect. If the property was built after 2000 and you have never been connected to the surface water drains we will backdate the reduction up to maximum of 6 years or your occupation date, whichever is the lesser. This is on the basis we should reasonably have maintained records of your connection. If the property was built before 2000 we will backdate the reduction to the start of the 2013 financial year, on the basis it is not unreasonable that our records of your property do not include details of the basis of your connection.

What if you decline my application?

You can ask for the decision to be reviewed by our Customer Relations team. In some circumstances we may arrange for a representative to visit your property to investigate further.

Apply online for a reduced sewerage standing charge


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Registered in England No. 2366656. Registered Office: Lancaster House, Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. PE29 6XU