Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

To help you understand Private Pumping Stations

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 eligible stations will transfer to us. Please contact us on 0800 085 3968 to register your Pumping Station.

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.

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.

Are there any private pumping stations that have not been transferred

Pumping stations serving one property and situated within the boundary of that property have not been 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 have been transferred.

Pumping stations that do not connect into the public sewer have not been 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 have not been transferred.

Has the pumping main been transferred?

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

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.