September 2011 | Page 2 of 2 |

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Severn Trent prosecute company for illegal disposal of waste

Friday, September 9th, 2011

In a swift message to those companies who flout the law and continue to discharge illegal waste into the public sewer system, Seven Trent Water have just prosecuted and won a case against Simplex Metal Finishers for their inappropriate disposal of trade effluent. In the trial at Wolverhampton Magistrates Court on the 10th of August, Simplex Metal Finishers were found guilty to have disposed of trade effluent into a public sewer on their site. It was heard they had been fined previously for similar incidents in 200 and 2008. They were fined a sum of £3,000 and ordered to pay legal costs. The waste water services director for Severn Trent Water, Simon Cocks, stated:

“The limits we set to regulate trade discharges are calculated to ensure they do not adversely effect the capacity of our sewage works to efficiently treat sewage, so exceeding this consent is not only illegal; it can also damage the sewage treatment process and so risk causing harm to the environment. “Our customers pay for damage to the sewer network and the treatment works, so it is important that we prosecute offenders in appropriate cases and take action to recover costs where possible. “Rather than having to take action in court, we would prefer to work together with businesses to prevent any breaches occurring in the first place.”

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Drain ownership changes – detached homes

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

The takeover of private sewers in England and Wales will take place on the 1st of October 2011, with many homeowners finding that some of the drains previously owned by them are now owned and thus taken care of by the local sewerage company. If you live in a terraced property, a semi-detached property or a detached property, the changes may affect you in different ways. Drain changes for detached homes If you live in a detached home, you will currently be responsible for the drainage pipes from your home until they connect into the public sewer system. This may mean that even those pipes that are not within your property boundary are still your responsibility. After the 1st of October, only those drainage pipes which are within your property boundary will be your responsibility. The section of drainage pipe which is outside your boundary, before it connects to the public sewer, will now be the responsibility of the sewerage company. It’s worth noting that those detached properties which are connected to a septic tank or a cess pit will not be affected by the drain ownership changes, and the drainage will still be the responsibility of the current homeowner.

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Drain ownership changes – terraced properties

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

From the 1st of October 2011 the ownership of drains and sewers in England and Wales will change. Some homeowners will see little difference in terms of who owns the drain, but for others it could mean that a significant portion of the drainage within their property boundary is now the responsibility of the water or sewerage company. Drain changes for terraces Terraced properties usually share a drain which passes under the boundary of a number of houses. Before the drain ownership changes come into effect on the 1st of October, it would have been the responsibility of all the homeowners who shared the private sewer pipes to pay for a repair to a sewer. All homeowners would of course be responsible for their section of sewer until it connected to the private shared sewer. The homeowners would also be responsible for repairs to the private shared sewer until it connected to the public sewer, so they may have had to pay for repairs to the pipe even if the fault was not on their own property. When the changes come into force, the sewerage company will now be responsible for all the private shared sewer, from the point it leaves the first connected property’s boundary. This means that homeowners only have responsibility for the sections of drainage pipe on their property before it connects to the private shared sewer. It’s worth noting that if your property was built before 1937, the shared private sewer is already the responsibility of the sewerage company.

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Drain ownership changes – flats and apartments

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

The changes to the ownership of drains and sewers which takes place on the 1st of October 2011 has left many people confused. It’s not too difficult to understand how the changes will affect you however, and this can be made simpler still if you know what type of property you live in. Drain changes for flats If you live in a flat or an apartment, the drains in your building will be shared by a number of different people. Before the drain ownership changes come into force on the 1st of October, all the residents will be liable to take responsibility for any problems with the drains until the drain enters the public sewer. This could mean that if the drain had a blockage, which was not even within your property boundary, you could still be liable to pay for repairs. It was usually the case that a number of residents would share the cost of the repairs between them, depending on which properties were affected. After the changes come into force, the flat or apartment owners will still be responsible for the drainage within their property boundary, but will no longer be liable to pay for any repairs to the drainage pipe after it leaves the boundary line. In some instances, it may still be the case that the flat owners will have to come to some sort of agreement about who pays for repairs if the drain has a problem within the property boundary.

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Swindon sewage works open day on the 3rd of September

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

On Saturday September the 3rd, Swindon sewage works will open its doors to the general public. Thames Water is holding an open day to increase public awareness about what the company are doing to improve how waste is treated. Also open on the day will be the Swindon sewage works lagoons, which are home to over a hundred species of birds. The lagoons have not been used since the 1980s but are now a wildlife haven and an important part of Swindon’s environmental diversity. The sewage works will open their gates to the public between 10m and 4pm and visitors to the site will also receive a free water saving device on the day. The chief operating officer for Thames Water, Steve Shine, stated:

"We're the UK’s largest water company, providing THE essential service for 14 million customers across London and the Thames Valley, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is a massive responsibility and we work hard to be good neighbours. "The majority of what we do is out of sight – out of mind. Opening up some of our large operational sites like Slough provides a unique and exciting opportunity for our customers who are curious to know more about what we do, to see it for themselves."
The site is the only one in the UK which uses a granular activated carbon method to ‘polish’ the treated sewage.

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