To help you understand Private Pumping Stations

Questions

 

Q. What is a private pumping station?

Q. How do I know if I am connected to a private pumping station?

Q. Who is responsible for private pumping stations?

Q. What needs to happen to get a private pumping station transferred to Welsh Water ownership?

 

Q. I know of a pumping station that serves at least two properties. Do you need to know about it?

Q. I currently hold drainage plans for the sewers and pumping station serving my property and the whole street. Is this information of value to you and if so, where can I send it?

Q. Will all private pumping stations automatically transfer to Welsh Water by 1st October 2016?

Q. How do you plan to deal with the transfer of all private pumping stations before 1st October 2016?

 

Q. I've paid for work on my private pumping station, am I eligible for a re-payment?

Q. Does Welsh Water have a right of access to private pumping stations to carry out repairs or maintenance in an emergency?

Q. Are there any that private pumping stations that will not be transferred?

Q. How many private pumping stations will be transferred?

 

Q. Will the pumping main be transferred?

Q. Why is no one maintaining our pumping station?

Q. What standard is required for private pumping stations to be eligible to be transferred?

Q. Who pays for any improvement to private pumping stations prior to their transfer?

Q. Can I appeal if my pumping station is not being transferred or if I don’t want it to transfer?

 

 

Answers

 

Q. What is a private pumping station?

These are pumping stations (generally constructed before 1st October 2012) which have not been adopted and are not being operated by Welsh Water. It could be that the developer did not put them up for adoption, the developer went out of business before completing the process or ownership has transferred from the developer to the residents. There will also be sites where Welsh Water has refused to adopt the pumping station because it is not up to the required standard.

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Q. How do I know if I am connected to a private pumping station?

You may be part of a residents’ association which owns a pumping station and contribute to its maintenance.

The developer who constructed your property may be maintaining a pumping station and reference to it will be in the deeds to your property.

The developer may have gone into receivership and you may now be contributing to its maintenance.

A pumping station may also be maintained by a housing association or local authority and you may not be aware of its existence

Are you aware of a kiosk containing electrical equipment in your street next to manhole covers? This may be a pumping station, particularly if you have seen the covers lifted and there was a smell of sewage. It may already be a Welsh Water asset but we can let you know one way or the other if you advise us of its location.

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Q. Who is responsible for private pumping stations?

The owner is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the pumping station, and this is normally the owner of the land on which the pumping station is located.

Welsh Water does not have any responsibility for the pumping station until the station is transferred into its ownership.

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Q. What needs to happen to get a private pumping station transferred to Welsh Water ownership?

We need to know about it and get it on our list of stations to be transferred. We then need to survey each site, assess any issues that need to be resolved, prioritise them and agree a programme with the owners of each pumping station. We will also need to arrange a formal transfer of ownership to Welsh Water. Please refer to the transfer process in our Private Pumping Station Transfer leaflet.

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Q. I know of a pumping station that serves at least two properties. Do you need to know about it?

Yes, we need to know where all private pumping stations are as these will transfer to us by 1st October 2016. Please complete the enquiry form on our website to register your pumping station or contact us on 0800 085 3968.

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Q. I currently hold drainage plans for the sewers and pumping station serving my property and the whole street. Is this information of value to you and if so, where can I send it?

Yes it is very useful to us. Please complete the enquiry form on our website and we will contact you. It is important that the original documents relating to station remain with the pumping station owner until ownership is transferred to Welsh Water.

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Q. Will all private pumping stations automatically transfer to Welsh Water by 1st October 2016?

In situations where pumping stations are subject to a sewer adoption agreement, we plan to work with developers to complete the sewer adoption process ahead of October 2016.

In all other situations, we intend to first capture the details of private pumping stations and then undertake a prioritised programme of transfer and improvement where necessary. We are not able to provide a time table for this process yet, but it is our intention that the work is completed by October 2016.

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Q. How do you plan to deal with the transfer of all private pumping stations before 1st October 2016?

The transfer regulations acknowledged the difficulty of transferring private pumping stations which would be complex and include issues such as access, land transfers, Health and Safety considerations etc, so their transfer is being delayed to October 2016 (at the latest) to allow water and sewerage companies time to prepare prioritised programmes of surveys, and transfer.

We will be progressively transferring all of the known private pumping stations up to the transfer date of 1st October 2016. The location and condition of many of these pumping stations is currently unknown and we are now working to find the private pumping stations, survey the sites, determine what remedial work is required and prioritise their transfer to Welsh Water. We will gradually transfer private pumping stations from now up to the October 2016 date.

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Q. I've paid for work on my private pumping station, am I eligible for a re-payment?

We will not make any back payments for repairs carried out before the date the pumping station is transferred. Transfer will be no later than 1st October 2016.

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Q. Does Welsh Water have a right of access to private pumping stations to carry out repairs or maintenance in an emergency?

No, any access to these stations will normally need to be negotiated with the owners. There are also Health and Safety risks if Welsh Water employees enter a pumping station that may not have been risk assessed.

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Q. Are there any that private pumping stations that will not be transferred?

Pumping stations serving one property and situated within the boundary of that property will not be transferred. However, the portion of the pumping main situated outside the curtilage (the lateral element) will transfer to Welsh Water. Pumping stations serving one property and situated outside that property will be transferred.

Pumping stations that do not connect into the public sewer will not be transferred e.g. a storm water pumping station connecting directly to a river or lake and a pumping station connecting to a private treatment works.

Pumping stations that have multiple occupancy but within a single curtilage such as airports, railway stations and some industrial premises and caravan sites will not be transferred.

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Q. How many private pumping stations will be transferred?

It is estimated that there could be as many as 800 stations in our operating area which could be eligible for transfer.

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Q. Will the pumping main be transferred?

The pumping mains will be transferred at the same time that we adopt the pumping station. There will be cases where a pumping station will not be transferred because it serves one property and is situated on that property. In this case the lateral portion of the rising main will transfer automatically on the 1st October 2016.

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Q. Why is no one maintaining our pumping station?

It may be that your pumping station has been abandoned by the developer and that the residents have not yet assumed ownership of the station. In some areas residents have formed registered companies and taken over the ownership and maintenance of their pumping station. This considerably eases the transfer process for Welsh Water, particularly for land transfer and being able to deal directly with the owners.

The owner of the pumping station is responsible for its operation and maintenance. Welsh Water will be responsible for the gravity sewers upstream of the pumping station and we will ensure that we meet our duty to operate and maintain these sewers. However we will not normally be able to enter the pumping station to carry out any remedial works.

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Q. What standard is required for private pumping stations to be eligible to be transferred?

We expect to find a number of stations in a very poor condition. There are currently a number of standards that apply. Welsh Waters specification for large pumping stations that we would build ourselves is governed by the ‘Sewers for Adoption – 7th edition’ standard. We insist that any pumping station that we would adopt under a section 104 agreement complies with this standard. There is also a new standard developed by UKWIR to cover the transfer of private pumping stations, which is a lower standard but considered to be the minimum that we would expect.

Developers’ pumping stations will generally be expected to meet the requirements of the Sewers For Adoption standard that was relevant when the pumping station was built.

Stations that are up to the standards normally expected by Welsh Water will have fewer issues to resolve and are likely to move through the transfer process more quickly.

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Q. Who pays for any improvement to private pumping stations prior to their transfer?

The owners of the pumping station are responsible for its operation and maintenance until transfer.

If adoption agreements are in place (e.g. S104) then these agreements will be fully implemented to ensure that pumping stations are of the required standard before transfer.

Under Section 160 of the Water Industry Act 1991 Welsh Water may, by agreement with the owner or occupier of any premises, carry out at that person’s expense improvements to the private pumping station.

Welsh Water does not intend to fund any improvements to private pumping stations prior to transfer.

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Q. Can I appeal if my pumping station is not being transferred or if I don’t want it to transfer?

Yes you can.

If you want to submit an appeal you should contact Ofwat within two months of receipt of the notice you receive from Welsh Water. Appeals should be submitted to our regulator Ofwat by e-mail appealpstransfer@ofwat.gsi.gov.uk or by post to OFWAT, Centre City Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham, B5 4UA.

If you do appeal it would be of assistance if you could also send a copy of the appeal to our e-mail address private.pumping.stations@dwrcymru.com or by post to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, PO Box 3188, Cardiff, CF30 0BY.

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