Safeguarding water for the future

We're developing long-term, 25 year strategies to make sure we can continue to safely recycle wastewater for future generations.

Good planning is the key to ensuring we not only continue to remove and treat wastewater effectively at an affordable price but address the challenges posed by a growing population, climate change and tougher environmental quality standards.


What we're doing

We're now at the beginning of our journey to develop drainage strategies for up to 100 areas across our region. Each one will explain how we will deliver long-term drainage services for our customers in a sustainable and economic way. 

We'll be carrying out detailed discussions with agencies and organisations which also have important drainage responsibilities to develop joint implementation plans for each area.

We'll also consult local communities, customers and stakeholders to ensure that the drainage services we provide are effective and keep pace with future pressures in the years ahead.


Next steps

We plan to regularly update and republish each strategy as we engage with our customers and stakeholders.

Details of public consultation periods and other opportunities to share feedback will be regularly updated on this page.


Catchment locations

North East Kent



What is Southern Water building?

We’re constructing all the public sewers required to serve Three Oaks with our delivery partner MGjv. This includes boundary boxes (which are the connection point for customers) and the network to collect the wastewater for treatment.

All pipes laid under the contract will be constructed at Southern Water’s cost and will automatically be vested in (the property of) Southern Water as the sewerage undertaker to form part of the public network.

Will I be forced to connect to the new sewer?

We have no legal power to force you to connect to the new public sewerage system.

However, once the new sewers are commissioned, if at any time your private system is found to be the cause of the pollution, you could be served with an enforcement notice by the environmental health team of Rother District Council requiring you to 'cease polluting'.

This would require you to either repair or replace your own system, or to connect to the new Southern Water system.

Will it be cheaper for me to use my current system?

The aim of providing a public sewerage system is to protect the village environment from pollution and we hope that you will choose to connect to the new system.

If you’re currently paying for the cost of emptying your tank, it could be that your emptying payment is cheaper, however, if your system needs repair or replacement it may be beneficial to connect to the public sewer.

If you have a cesspool that requires frequent emptying, connection to the public system could well be cheaper for you. There is also the continued risk of causing pollution with a faulty private system.

Details of getting connected?

Once we have completed the sewerage network we’ll let you know the location of the boundary box for your property.

You’ll then need to make your own arrangements to connect to the public sewer at this point. The connection will be for sewage only. Details on how to make the application can be found at

How much will it cost to connect to the new sewer?

The cost for each property will be different depending on how much work you would need to do to your existing private drains in order to make the connection.

Once the scheme is commissioned we will write to you to let you know the location of your boundary box/ connection point. In order to assist you in making the connection, we’re waiving the connection fee (currently £277) and infrastructure fee for applications made within six months of the date of your letter.

You will be responsible for carrying out the work to make the connection to the boundary box including design, planning construction and making of the application and any fees or cost associated.

Surface water and groundwater infiltration

Groundwater drainage is not accepted into SW sewers under any circumstances. Therefore, any physical defects within an existing customer drain which allows the entry of groundwater must be repaired by the customer prior to connecting to the public sewer.

Accordingly, water from areas of hard standing such as roads, roofs and paved surfaces) must be separated by the customer from foul sewer connections and disposed of in accordance with current building regulations, concerning sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS).

The customer is responsible for all necessary permissions associated with their private laterals (i.e. connections between the waste water outlets from the property and the property boundary box).

What do I do next?

If you’d like to connect, read our online guide or contact our Developer Services team: 0330 303 0119 [email protected].

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