Depending on the circumstances of your site, we may ask you in our response to complete a Sewer Protection Agreement (SPA) with us so we can ensure the protection of the public sewer and our future maintenance access.
A SPA is a legal agreement between us - Southern Water - and the property owner to protect the public sewer that is being built over. If the below criteria apply to your plans, then a SPA will be required:
- Covering 8 metres or more of a public sewer.
- If the proposal spans from boundary to boundary of your property.
- Unconventional construction that is not compliant with our Guidance Notes.
- Impedes access to maintain the public apparatus.
- If the proposal covers two or more sewers.
The Protection Agreement is required because we as a Water Company have a legal obligation to service and maintain public sewers in our area of operation. If the above points apply, then the proposed build-over will make it hard for us to access, repair and maintain the sewer (our statutory duties) in the future to ensure it continues serving our customers effectively. The agreement ensures the rights of access to repair and maintain that public sewer in the future at the landowner’s expense.
A SPA is made against the property, not the property owner, so you must disclose the SPA to any potential new owners in the future should the property be sold.
The legal documentation is prepared by our Legal Department and paid for separately. The SPA costs approximately £250 for domestic/residential properties and £400 for commercial properties and should be completed before commencing works on site.
Once the SPA is complete, we will provide you with a confirmation letter to inform that the works on site can be completed in accordance with the terms of the agreement and conditions outlined.