Homeowners in Peterborough and Milton Keynes could save themselves cash and worry by handing over their private sewage pumping stations to Anglian Water.

From October Anglian Water will become legally responsible for many private pumping stations, relieving their owners of the need to pay hundreds of pounds in electricity costs, maintenance and repairs.

But before the company can take them on it has to find them, and that’s where the customers can help.

Emma Staples from Anglian Water said: “We’re calling on our customers to help us locate these pumping stations.

“They come in all shapes and sizes; they can be built of brick, wood, metal – but are not to be confused with the electricity and broadband junction boxes. They might be on the street, pavement, or buried in undergrowth in the back garden – we’ve even had one covered with a rockery!”

Pumping stations move sewage through the pipes, taking it from homes to the main sewers and on to treatment works. Most are already owned and operated by water companies, but thousands are in private hands.

In 2011, Anglian Water took ownership of all formerly private sewer pipes that were under shared ownership and those outside the boundary of people’s properties. Taking on private pumping stations is the next step.

The company has launched a regional awareness campaign, starting in Peterborough and Milton Keynes but to be rolled out across the region later in the year, to encourage people to keep their eyes peeled for these pumping stations and report them to Anglian Water. The water company will investigate, check they are eligible to be adopted, and then bring them up to standard for the future.

Emma said: “These private pumping stations are massive money pits, literally pumping money out of homeowners’ wallets. If you have one, you are paying for the electricity running costs, for maintenance and any repairs – and that work is not cheap.

“If you think you have seen one, please report it to us. It’s quick and easy and can be done online or over the phone, and could save you some money.”

To help customers identify private pumping stations and report them, more information is available at: Private pumping station.