Thousands of kilometres of sewers and lateral drains existed across England and Wales which, until recently, have been the responsibility of the property owners who used them. In some cases the condition of these private drainage systems was poor, leading to blockages and pipe collapses. This was a national issue, which gave rise to many problems.
The cost of repairing these private sewers and lateral drains previously fell to the owners of those sewers – often individual householders or groups of neighbours. This caused hardship for some customers and resulted in disputes between neighbours, with local authorities, insurers and with the local water and sewerage company.
After extensive consultation (including customer research) the Welsh Government decided that the private sewers would be better looked after if they formed part of the public sewer network, being owned and maintained in Wales, and adjoining parts of England, by Welsh Water. This is a huge undertaking for us and one that will be regulated and managed very carefully.