Private pumping stations are responsible for removing wastewater from residential properties that do not have access to the main sewage systems. If your property has manhole covers with cabinets that contain electrical equipment, these are indications that a pumping station has at some point taken over sewer ownership.
Some homes are already connected to a private pumping station before they connect to a main sewer system. Examples of such properties include small housing developments, farms in rural areas, or business parks. The pumping station is therefore obliged to serve more than one property in these areas.
How homeowners are affected by the transfer of private sewer networks depends on the type of property they live in and the way the drains are connected. There are many advantages to connecting to a private pumping station.
Aside from convenience, there is no unpleasant smell or the risk of animal infestation around your property. As a result, it is considered to be a low health risk to the occupants and the maintenance costs are somewhat lower.
But as with anything, there are some disadvantages to connecting to a private pumping station. You will need a reliable supplier of piped water, not to mention how difficult and costly it will be to construct in high-density areas. In addition, energy recycling will be a challenge and there are problems linked with breakdown and blockages of pumping equipment.
What the law says
The law that came into place on 1st October 2011 indicated that any private sewer that is situated within Thames Water sewerage must communicate with a public sewer as well as any private lateral drain. This does not include pumping stations, which is good news for homeowners as the law means the ownership for private sewers can be transferred to a pumping station. Because of this new law, many customers are no longer confused about the ownership of their sewer system as lots of leaflets from water companies and informative resources have been circulating around. Some utility companies are inviting customers to search for private sewage pumping stations in their area in order to save money on their water bills.
From October 2016, under new government legislation, there will be a number of private sewage pumping stations that will be transferred to water companies. These stations are presently the business owners or residents’ responsibility and they must connect to their sewerage network, but all that will change next year.
Over the next two years, water companies must make sure they locate and survey all the pumping stations in order to determine their eligibility in the region. It is estimated that there are around 700 private pumping stations in UK, but thus far, 560 sites have been identified. This is the reason water companies are asking their customers to locate and survey all the pumping stations in their area so that they can potentially save money on their water bills.
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