Civilistix Consulting Engineers have undertaken a considerable amount of discharge agreements with all different parties for a range of development types and sizes. This includes negotiation of un-controlled surface water connections to watercourses and public sewers, obtaining trade effluent licenses, abstraction licenses and agreeing the use of deep bore soakaways with the Environment Agency on several sites.
Regardless of the type of discharge agreement your site requires or even if you don’t yet know, please get in touch and we would be happy to advise you.
The Surface Water Discharge Hierachy
In accordance with the Building Regulations, Part H (see https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/drainage-and-waste-disposal-approved-document-h), discharge of surface water should ideally be via infiltration to the ground or otherwise to a watercourse and only to a sewer if no other option exists. To determine whether infiltration disposal can be used, infiltration testing in accordance with BRE 365 is required to be undertaken.
If testing identifies infiltration not to be viable, the developer may then connect to a watercourse if one is within the vicinity of the site. Whilst some watercourses are private, many will require discharge consent from the operator before a connection can be made. Typically, this is obtained via the Local Authority for Ordinary watercourses, the Environment Agency for main rivers as well as Internal Drainage Boards and Middle Level Commissioners.
If infiltration is not found to be viable nor any watercourses located within the vicinity of a site, the developer may connect to a public sewer. Connecting to a sewer typically requires completing a predevelopment enquiry with the sewerage undertaker prior to a planning submission being made to ensure sufficient capacity exists for development flows. Further to planning being granted, a Section 106 agreement with the sewerage undertaker confirming the location and discharge rate then needs to be progressed.
If none of the above discharge solutions are available, in some instances deep bore soakaway discharge may be acceptable to the Environment Agency. This involves water being infiltrated to deeper more porous strata and in some instances added directly to existing groundwater.