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What are the regulations on drainage and wastewater disposal?


The Building Regulations, Part H – SI 561 (2010)

H1 -- Drainage System

1. A building shall be provided with a drainage system necessary for the hygienic, adequate disposal of foul wastewater from the building.

2. A building shall be provided with a drainage system necessary for the adequate disposal of surface water from the building.

3. No part of a drainage system conveying foul wastewater shall be connected to a sewer reserved for surface water and no part of a drainage system conveying surface water shall be connected to a sewer reserved for foul wastewater.

H2 -- Wastewater Treatment Systems

1. Wastewater treatment systems shall be designed, sited and constructed so that –

  • they are not prejudicial to anyone’s health,

  • they do not cause a risk to public health or the environment,

  • they prevent unauthorised access but allow adequate means of access for emptying and maintenance,

  • they will function to a sufficient standard for the protection of health in the event of a system failure,

  • they have adequate capacity,

  • they are impermeable to liquids and

  • they are adequately ventilated.

2. Information on wastewater treatment systems and any continuing maintenance required to avoid risk to health and the environment shall be provided to the owner.

H3 -- Definitions

‘combined drain’ – a single private drain used for the drainage of two or more separate premises as defined by Section 10 of the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Act 1948 (No. 3)

‘drain’ – relating to a building, any pipe forming part of the drainage system of the building either –

  • wholly underground or

  • a continuation in the direction of flow of part of a drainage system that has been underground, including a ‘combined drain’

‘drainage system’ – relating to a building, the system of pipes and drains used for drainage of the building including all other fittings, appliances, and equipment used, but excluding subsoil water drains

‘domestic wastewater’ – water discharged from kitchens, laundry rooms, lavatories, bathrooms, toilets, and similar facilities (soil water and wastewater)

‘foul wastewater’ – any wastewater comprising wastewater and/or industrial wastewater

‘industrial wastewater’/’trade effluent’ – wastewater discharge resulting from any industrial/commercial activity

‘sewer’ – meaning as that of the Local Government (Sanitary Services) Acts 1878-1964

‘surface water’ – water from precipitation that has not seeped into the ground, discharged to the drain or sewer system directly from the ground or exterior building surfaces

‘soil water’ – water containing excreted matter – human or animal

‘wastewater’ – used water (not soil water or trade effluent)