From 1 October 2016, all water and sewerage companies in England and Wales take on responsibility for privately owned sewerage pumping stations, in the final phase of the Private Drains and Sewers (PDaS) legislation introduced in July 2011.

Sewage pumping stations pump sewage from homes along underground sewers to the nearest waste water treatment plant where it is treated, but finding all the private pumping stations has not been easy. Water and sewerage companies around the country have spent several years identifying and locating these private pumping stations and they believe many are still unidentified. At Yorkshire Water, a dedicated team has been trying to find hundreds of private sewage pumping stations hidden throughout the region since 2014. So far they have found 350, of which they took ownership on 1 October, but they believe there are still more to be identified.

Dave Wilson, Transfer Manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “Sewage pumping stations can be situated anywhere; in gardens, on public land next to houses or businesses, or just on the side of the road. Many are located in private gardens and land that we don’t normally have authority to enter which is why we’ve needed help from customers to find them. We’ve been working on this project since early in 2014 but we believe there are still more pumping stations to be found.”

Dave encouraged customers to get in touch; “It’s not too late for customers to ask us to visit and a survey a pumping station free of charge to check it’s eligible for transfer to Yorkshire Water ownership. Customers need to look out for steel access covers and/or a kiosk, usually green, which contains the electrical control equipment for the pumps.”

Eligible pumping stations are those which serve more than one property and connect to the existing public sewer network. If a pumping station serves a single property but sits outside the property boundary it will also be eligible.

Once the transfer has been completed the water company will take on responsibility for all maintenance, repair and energy costs for each pumping station. The transfer could also result in savings to customers of up to £1,200 per year in shared energy and maintenance costs.

To report a private sewage pumping station or to find out more contact your local water company.

Image of former private pumping station courtesy of Yorkshire Water.