Sewer Connections at JW Clark

Go to our new dedicated groundwork & civils website Open site

At JW Clark Ltd, we are approved contractors for sewer connection installations for the following utility companies: Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water and Thames Water.

Sewer Connection Services by JW Clark. An overview:

The most common types of sewer connection we carry out, both private and commercial, are for ‘new build’ projects, and this can be anything from 1 new house to many, and with no upward limit, they always need connecting to the public sewer. A connection to the public sewer is normally the only option, and is certainly the preferred option, as opposed to connection to a Treatment Plant or similar off-mains drainage.

We also carry out many sewer connections whereby a Treatment Plant or Septic tank is being decommissioned. Since January 2020, it has been a legal requirement to connect to the public sewer where old Treatment Plants do not meet current guidelines, or whereby old-fashioned Septic Tanks are still in use. Since 2020, if a public sewer exists within a reasonable distance, you no longer have the option to install a new Treatment Plant, you must connect to the public sewer. Our work will often include to re-route drainage from the old Treatment Plant or Septic Tank, divert to the new sewer connection, and then to decommission and make safe the old Treatment Plant or Septic Tank.

The vast majority of connections to the public sewer are made are in the public highway, i.e. the verge, pavement or normally the road, and range from being 1m deep to 5m deep or even more sometimes. To carry out the work in the Highway a ‘Section 50 licence’ is required, and this is where we come in. We will normally act as the Agent in this respect, taking care of the Section 50 Licence application, from start to finish. To be able to apply for a Section 50 Licence, you need specialist and a higher-than-normal level of insurance, employees with the correct NRSWA accreditation for both Operatives and Supervisors, and also extensive knowledge of the utilities industry, and we have all of this including experience gained over many years.

A Section 106 is also required, and this is obtained via a Section 106 Licence application to the relevant Water Authority, i.e. Anglian Water or Thames Water etc. As with the Section 50 application to Highways, we will normally act as the Agent when it comes to the Section 106 application, and we have good contacts with all of the Water Authorities.

There a several methods of connecting to the public sewer. Indirect and Direct, and then via Junction Insertion, Saddle Connection or Manhole Construction. Whatever has been requested by the Water Authority, we can take care of it. In the event that we can see a cheaper or quicker solution – and we often can – then we will work with you and the relevant Water Authority to make it happen. We have good contacts with all the Water Authorities, and we have personal and first-name contacts at each, helping to make the applications processes run particularly smoothly and efficient as possible.

At the end of the works being completed and approved by the water authority, a final inspection certificate will be provided to the contractor/applicant. These are often required when trying to sell the houses later on down the line, and we will always ensure that we leave you with a full sign-off at the end of the project or soon after.

If you have any questions or queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team today, head over to our contact page (opens in a new tab) for more details.


We now have a dedicated site for groundwork and civils.
Send us a contact form enquiry about your sewer connection project here.

Open contact form
  • 20+ years’ experience in facilitating Sewer Connections & Sewer Diversions
  • Anglian Water approved. Also Severn Trent & Thames Water
  • Section 106 Applications to Water Authority taken care of on your behalf
  • Section 50 Applications to Highways taken care of on your behalf
  • Traffic management planning including traffic lights if required, road closures and diversions not a problem for us
  • All types of connection method including Direct & Indirect, Junction Insertions, Saddle Connections and Manhole Construction
  • New connections to replace Treatment Plants/Septic Tanks, including full planning and re-routing from start to finish
  • Accredited Health & Safety Contractor, multiple company & operative accreditations
  • We will take care of your whole project from start to finish, acting as Agent to the authorities, liaising with neighbouring properties where necessary, facilitating profession job from planning to excavation to reinstatement and Water Authority sign-off.
  • We have literally scores of genuine 5-star reviews on Google collected over many years, click here to see
  • All of our work is carried out by our own employees, wearing our uniform and driving our own sign-written vans. We do not use any subcontractors on any of our work!

FAQ's - Section 1

For sewer connections we cover most areas where either Anglian Water, Severn Trent or Thames water are the Water Authority for drainage.

With so many variables involved here it is difficult to give an average cost, but anything from a few thousand pounds to tens of thousands. Click here for a quote.

A sewer connection in the Highway can take as little as a few days, up to a week or more or sometimes many weeks in the event that the public sewer is a long way from the site.

Beware though – the paperwork in advance will take much, much longer. You will need to do a , which we will normally take care of for you. In the event that the public sewer is in the Highway (90% of the time) we will need to apply to the local Highways Dept at the County Council for a , ordinarily you cannot do this yourself, we have to do it for you. This process cannot normally be started until you/we have the from the water authority - Highways need to know that the Water Authority are in agreement that the connection be made.

The application will normally take anything from a few weeks to a couple of months. Once we are in receipt of the , we have to give notice to Highways that we want to use it. For a very small job in the Highway, the notice period is 1 week. For a week’s work in the Highway, the notice we have to give is often 3 weeks, and 3 months or more for a major project.

An increasing amount of jobs in the Highway require a road closure, and the minimum legal notice period for one of these is 3 months. And just because we give notice to Highways that we wish to use our licence, we won’t necessarily get permission to do so. There has to be no other roadworks going on within a certain radius of the site, and in some instances other contractors could have booked ‘road space’ in the surrounding area for the next few months or more, meaning you’ll be asked to join the back of the queue. In some areas you cannot work during school term time, you’ll have to wait for the next school holiday – as long as other contractors do not already have ‘road space’ booked for then. So all in all:

Time required to get a to connect to a public sewer                 3-6 weeks.

Then… Time required to get a to ‘dig up the road’                      3-10 weeks.

Then… Notice period to be able to use a Section 50 Licence                         1-12 weeks.

Then… Time taken to do the work                                                                              (normally) 3 – 10 days.

Total of anything between 8 and 30 weeks. In the event that you need a sewer connection doing please contact us as soon as possible. You’ll be surprised how many people build a house and then ask us to start the sewer connection process, whereas this process needs starting ideally when the build starts.

Public (adopted) sewers in the Highway can be as shallow as 1m deep, but tend to average 1.6m – 3m deep, but with some a lot deeper. It is not uncommon or some very old public sewers to be 6m deep, or more.

The depths of a lot of public sewers are documented by the various water authorities, as are the exact location of them. However, a lot of public sewers are still not mapped. For Anglian Water and Severn Trent sewers visit  and for Thames Water visit

It depends. In the case of one house or a couple of houses then connection by ‘junction insertion’ or ‘saddle connection’ would be a more common method of connection, unless of course a manhole exists in close proximity.

In the case of a larger development of more than 3 houses, a connection into a manhole is normally required, or construction of a new manhole on top of the existing pipe if one does not exist close by. The method of connection will always be dictated by the relevant Water Authority, and will always be detailed on the ‘Section 106 Approval Letter’. When instructing JW Clark to undertake a sewer connection, our service will normally include facilitating the Section 106 application , unless you have already done it or wish to do it yourself. For a quote for a sewer connection click here.

Junction Insertion

“Oblique junction insertion fitted onto a public sewer, the pipes either side of the sewer are old and new water mains”.

A junction insertion is simply a ‘Y junction’. We cut out a small section of the existing sewer and fit a junction insertion. It sounds simple, but of course there’s a lot more to it than that! The ‘flow’ will normally have to be stopped ‘upstream’ in the next manhole for the work to be carried out safely. A junction insertion will normally be the preferred method of connection onto a public sewer that is up to 300mm in diameter.

Saddle Connection

A saddle connection is the preferred method of connecting onto public sewer greater than 300mm in diameter, and is more likely to be used on a surface water connection than a foul connection – as foul sewer pipes above 300mm are not so common, whereas surface water sewers are often 300mm in diameter, or more. This method of connection requires a hole to be professionally core-drilled into the existing sewer pipe, normally towards the top of the pipe on the side, and the ‘saddle’ to be fixed onto the pipe by way of fast-setting cement slurry or resin. Further pipework can be connected onto the saddle once the connection has cured.

Victorian brick culvert

A saddle connection is also the preferred method of connection into a Victorian Brick Culvert. In this instance a proportion of the culvert on the outside will normally be carefully excavated around first, and a concrete ‘jacket’ carefully applied to the brickwork. When this has cured, the concrete and the brickwork are drilled together. The concrete jacket is required as the brick culvert is dependent on the brickwork for its strength, and core-drilling without the concrete jacked having first been applied would compromise the integrity of the culvert.

In relation to sewer connections, a Section 106 application is required to connect a property to the public (adopted) sewer for the first time. (Not to be confused with a ‘Planning’ Section 106 Agreement, these are private agreements made between local authorities and developers).

How to apply for a Section 106.

JW Clark can apply for a Section 106 on your behalf, and we normally do so for most customers, however if you want to do it yourself then that’s fine.

You/we will need the following to be able to apply for a Section 106:

  1. Drainage Plan – This needs to show foul pipes and manholes within the site, the connection to the public sewer, whether it be by or  and it needs to show the existing public sewer in the Highway or otherwise. A drainage plan previously put together for a ‘new build’ property will normally cover the foul system in the site, but will rarely detail the sewer connection, nor the existing public sewer. It will need amending to include these to be suitable for the Section 106 application, and this is best done by the same architect who drew the original drawing. The drainage plan must also detail surface water/rainwater pipes and manholes in the site, and the method by which it is being discharged, i.e. soakaways or rainwater harvesting system etc.  .
  1. Site Plan.
    This will detail the boundary of the property and must show the property in relation to neighbouring properties or nearby landmarks.
  2. Consent/Signature of Apparatus owner.
    Although we will take care of the Section 106 application for you, you will normally need to sign as the ‘Apparatus Owner’ - Although the connection to the public sewer will always be adopted by the water authority, the pipework in the Highway leading away from the connection (the lateral) will normally remain the property and the responsibility of the property owner (unless the lateral is being adopted ). Apart from this one signature, we can normally take care of the Section 106 application for you, and we will normally include to do so in our quote. For a quote click here.
  3. Fee to the water authority .
    The fee for a Section 106 can vary between water authorities and is sometimes dependent on the type of connection. Prices start at about £400, and the exact price will always be detailed by us in our quote to you.
  4. Method Statement & Risk Assessments.
    We will always put together a Method Statement and Risk Assessments for any sewer connection that we undertake and these must be supplied to and approved by the relevant water authority before work can commence, and will normally have to be included in the initial Section 106 application. ‘Generic’ Method Statements and Risk Assessments are not permitted, they must be ‘Specific’. Our quote to you will always include for these.

Most water authorities charge upwards of £400 for a Section 106 application, and the fee will have to be paid up front before the application will be processed. JW Clark will normally take care of a Section 106 application in the event that you instruct us to do a sewer connection for you, this includes doing all the paperwork, sending it off to the water authority and keeping track of and chasing progress.

In addition to the cost of a Section 106, there is sometimes a charge from the water authority to the end user, sometimes referred to as a Zonal Charge or an Infrastructure Charge. This is often in the region of £500-£600 and is normally charged as part of the continual billing process between the water authority and the end user, however occasionally they will include this is a bill prior to the connection being made. We will never have any visibility or knowledge of what this amount will be, if any. The end user will need to contact the water authority directly to confirm.

OFWAT’s regulations state that a Water Authority must make a start on a Section 106 application within 15 working days of the water authority receiving it. In the event that any queries are generated as a result of the initial application, once the water authority receives an answer to their queries, they have another 15 working days to respond to and continue with the application. With this in mind, it is important to start the process of applying for a Section 106 well in advance of when the sewer connection needs doing.

Not normally, no. The water Authority will only normally adopt (& inspect) the connection onto their sewer. This could be a junction insertion, a saddle connection, or a new manhole if this is the method of connection. The pipework (also known as the lateral) between the connection, and the property, including that which is in the Highway, will normally remain the property of the customer who appoints us. And in the event that the connection is for a new dwelling and this is sold soon after the work is completed, ownership of the pipework (including in the Highway) will pass to the buyer of the new property, unless an alternative arrangement is made of course. Depending on the water authority in question, it is sometimes possible for a limited amount of pipework to be adopted by the Water Authority on a Section 106 application. However more often than not a Section 104 application is required where you wish for the pipework to be adopted, and as a contractor we cannot apply for a Section 104, this has to be done by the owner of the land which is being developed. When instructed to apply for a Section 106 on your behalf, we will always assume that you do not wish for the pipework to be adopted by the Water Authority, unless you advise us otherwise.

In relation to a sewer connection, a Section 50 application to Highways is needed in when the sewer connection requires us to ‘dig up the road’, i.e. to excavate in any part of the Highway, either the footpath, verge or carriageway/road, sometimes in all three. 90% of public sewers are in the Highway, so most sewer connections will require a Section 50 application. We will normally have to do this for you. For this we must have operatives and management NRSWA accredited and we have to hold £10million public liability insurance. Plus of course we need experience in this kind of work, and we have many years’ experience.

Before we can apply for a Section 50 we have to obtain utilities drawings for any apparatus that may exist in the Highway where we are to dig. This will normally include BT, Electric, Gas, Water & sometimes Virgin Media or similar. There is a cost to obtaining these utilities drawings, and this will always be included in a quote for a sewer connection. In some cases there may be no gas or Virgin Media in the vicinity, but in this instance we have to get written permission from the utilities companies that no apparatus exists, for which there is still a cost. We need these drawings so we know where existing utilities are in the Highways before we start digging, and Highways have a duty to know that we have obtained drawings, so no Section 50 application can be made before we have these drawings.

Once we have the utilities drawings we can make our Section 50 application to Highways. This will include us sending in our proof of accreditation and insurance, a site plan detailing the work we wish to do, our traffic management proposal and the Section 106 that we have obtained from the water authority. The Section 50 will then be considered by Highways for processing, which can take anything from a few weeks, up to 10 weeks in some instances.

The fee to Highways for a Section 50 will normally range from £500 - £800, deepening on the area. However, there are sometimes further costs in the event that, for example, a road closure is required or that parking needs to be restricted. Our quote to you will always include all such fees, and will include for us to carry out the whole process for you, from start to finish. For a quote click here.

An increasing number of councils are starting to request that a ‘bond’ be paid prior to any work being carried out in the Highway. The bond can cost anything from £200-£300 upwards, and can be quite significant for a large-scale sewer connection. The bond will normally be returned after 2 years, when Highways do their final inspection of our work. We will always ask that our customer pays this bond, however we will always do all relevant administrative work including chasing for the bond to be retuned at the end of the period. It is not practical for us to pay bonds ourselves as we are generally carrying out scores of sewer connections each year, and the cost to us would be prohibitive. Whereas our customer, the developer, will only normally do 1 or 2 jobs in a year, it is for this reason that we ask the customer to stand the cost of any bond. However, we currently have a 100% success rate in reclaiming bonds at the end of the period. In the unlikely event that our work is found to be defective at the end of the period, we will of course return to site to carry out any required remedial work, and at this point we will stand the cost of paying the bond amount back to the customer, in advance of the council returning the bond.

Yes.  We will always arrange inspection of the actual sewer connection by the water authority as part of our quote to you. As far as any ‘private lateral’ is concerned, this will often need inspecting by Building Control in the event that it is not being adopted by the water authority – which is often the case with 1 new build or a very small development.

Not normally. Water authorities try to discourage anything other than foul going into their foul and combined sewers, except in extenuating circumstances. In the event that there is a dedicated surface water sewer in the Highway there is more likelihood of being able to discharge rainwater/surface water into this, however their preference may still be for rainwater to discharge into soakaways or by other means. This is all dealt with in the application.

It all depends on the nature of the job. If the work relates to a ‘new build’ and there is approved planning permission, then the rate will normally be zero. For existing properties the rate will normally be standard 20%, however there are some exceptions. For example, the VAT rate for a barn conversion is 5%.

Why Use JW Clark?

Our Reputation

Over the last 18 years, JW Clark Ltd have built many trusted relationships with all members of the trade, ensuring our work load is filled by repeat and one off customers.

Our forward thinking, innovitive and hard working approach has kept us in touch with the latest ideas and ensures we always find solutions, not problems.

Whatever project you are planning,  with JW Clark you will receive an honest service, at a competitive price with people you can trust.


Our Team

All of our groundwork employees are employed by us, we do not use subcontractors. They drive vehicles with our sign-writing on and wear our uniform. All employees are courteous and polite and are trained and briefed as to the level of customer service we want to deliver.

Operatives hold the relevant qualifications & accreditations for the work they are carrying out, and are trained and qualified for the machinery they operate.

Our Plant & Machinery

Most plant & machinery we use is owned by us and maintained to the highest standards.

All plant & machinery is checked every day by our operatives prior to starting work in the morning, and documentation is kept in the machines at all times to this effect.

Road Haulage Association
Environment Agency - Registered Waste Carrier
New Roads and Street Works Act