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South West Water - Can They Force Adoption Of Our Sump Pump?

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We built an extension about 15 years ago, and part of the build required s to move the sewage pipework a few meters into the garden so that it wasn't running under the new building work. This meant that we lost the 'fall' of the pipes, so we had to install a sump pump to take away the waste water from our house and the one house nextdoor at the end of our road. This sump pump then connects to the main sewer, and the work was completed in agreement with the local water company, South West Water.

Over the last couple of years South West Water have been trying to 'adopt' our sump pump, thus assuming ownership and maintenance. We have refused them this, as the system cost us several thousands of pounds to buy and install and we aren't prepared to have them just take it from us. When we mention they purchase the system from us, we don't hear from them again for several months.

On one occasion I came home to find two South West Water workers wandering around our garden looking for the pump control box. However, that is installed inside a cupboard in our utility room in the house,  I denied them access and told them to leave.

We have now received a letter from a subcontracted company who are under the impression they will be fitting a Sewer Level Monitoring (SLM) device into the manhole we built of the sump pump that we own.

Does anyone know where we stand on this whole sewer adoption thing, can we keep demanding compensation for our costs? It sounds like theft to me!

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I don't know the answer to this question but I can say that it is highly unlikely that they will be able to do this without being obliged to paying reasonable compensation.

It's very likely to be broadly the same principles as in compulsory purchase.

I would start off by making an immediate complaint to the regulator.

Are the subject to the Freedom of information act?

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why do they want to take control of the system?

have they explained exactly why?

the water and sewerage act sadly does give them some very strong and sweeping powers on systems that discharge into their network.



please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thanks @BankFodder, I'll look into this.


No idea why they want to take it over.

They've tried charging us and messing us about since we installed it years ago, but we keep knocking them back with their own rules on sewerage!

It was all agreed in the planning stage, all notified and completed as required, etc, and fully compliant with historic and current regs. They just seem to be under the impression that they are entitled to just have it as they see fit.

As @BankFodder noted above, there must surely be compensation in the event of compulsory purchase. This thing cost us a lot of pennies.

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I asked you if they were subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

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Hi BankFodder,

South West Water is not deemed a 'public authority' under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and therefore, not subject to the obligations under it.


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Okay, as long as you are sure. Some of these private companies were made subject to the Act as part of the deal to give them this kind of role.

A great shame because it will be interesting to discover how many other people they had treated in this way and also the basis for it. It will be seem to know what regulations they are apparently relying upon

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