Quick Guide: Pumping Station Adoption

What actually is Pumping Station Adoption?

In brief, adoption of a pumping station is the legal transfer of a pumping station from the ownership of the developer/owner to the local Water Authority.

What does it include?

  • A formal land transfer of the pumping station compound
  • Transfer of the rising main ownership
  • All planned maintenance and emergency breakdowns are responsibility of the water authority
  • All associated running costs for power and telemetry will be transferred over to the water authority


How do I build a new adoptable pumping station?

To build a new sewers for adoption pumping station you will need to submit a detailed design to your local water authorities Developer Services team as part of your Section 104 submission for approval.

Pumping Station Design Submissions can be completed by pumping station specialists and will be designed to meet Sewers for Adoption (SFA) regulations along with the local water authority’s preferences.  It is highly recommended that you do not construct any part of the pumping station without technical approval.

Read ‘Quick Guide: ‘5 Questions to Ask Before Instructing SFA Pumping Station Design’


What are ‘Adoption Snags?’

Water Authorities want all their pumping stations to be as similar as possible to ensure they can offer the best service to their customers.  This means that in the visit before they formally adopt to inspect the pumping station to ensure it is up to standard.  Following the visit they will issue a snagging list of items that they want the developer to rectify prior to adoption.

Read ‘6 Adoptable Pumping Station Pitfalls you need to be aware of’


What are the recent legislation changes?

In July 2011 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) passed the Private Sewage Transfer Regulations.  This was a two part process and designed to put more responsibility on Water Authorities with regards to managing private sewer networks.  These parts were;

  1. Sewerage companies would become responsible for private sewers/drains from 1 October 2011
  2. Sewerage companies will become responsible for private pumping stations from 1 October 2016, which meet the eligibility criteria.

If you have a pumping station you may think is eligible for adoption, contact your local water authority for more information.


How do I know if a Pumping Station has been adopted?

If a pumping station has been adopted you fill find a notice either on the compound gates or on the front of a kiosk with the name of the new owner, an emergency telephone number and a pumping station location code.  (see photograph below)