Adopting new sewers

Under Section 104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, a developer can apply to transfer ownership of their newly constructed sewers to United Utilities by way of an ‘Adoption’ agreement.

Our Guide to S104 new sewer adoptions provides all of the information that you need to offer new sewers for adoption. To apply for a new sewer adoption, please complete the application form.

All applications will be technically assessed to make sure that they meet specific industry standards. For our requirements for technical drawings, please see our standard construction details document .

Changes to the standards for the construction of new foul sewers and lateral drains have been proposed. However until the new ‘Mandatory Build Standards’ are agreed and implemented; we will continue to work with Sewers for Adoption – 6th Edition which is published by the Water Research Centre.

Further legislation, Section 42 of the Floods and Water Management Act, confirms that in future a Section 104 adoption agreement must be in place before any new sewer can be connected to the existing public sewer network. As yet, a date for this change has not been agreed.

If you have any further queries about sewer adoptions please contact the team at

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