Complaint against Yorkshire Water about sewer adoption


Case number


Case summary

This appeal was about the refusal by Yorkshire Water to adopt a sewer. We determined the sewer adoption appeal under Section 105 of the Water Industry Act 1991 (“the Act”).

Summary of Ofwat’s final decision

Following an investigation of the complainant’s appeal, and in light of the legal framework of the Act and the evidence we gathered from the parties to the dispute, we determined that the relevant pipe is not a sewer but a drain, as it is used to drain a single curtilage. Accordingly, the pipe was not capable of being adopted under section 102 of the Act. We therefore uphold Yorkshire Water’s decision to refuse the request for the pipe to be adopted.

Wider lessons for companies and customers

Under section 102(1) of the Act and subject to certain conditions, a sewerage undertaker may declare that a sewer or lateral drain which communicates with a public sewer, or any sewerage disposal works, will become vested in the undertaker. The owner of any such sewer, lateral drain or sewerage disposal works can also apply to the relevant sewerage undertaker, requesting that it make such a declaration. Section 105(1) of the Act provides that an owner of a sewer, lateral drain or sewerage disposal works, may appeal to Ofwat regarding a sewerage undertaker’s refusal to adopt.

Relevant powers

Section 105 of the Water Industry Act 1991

Date opened

10 November 2020

Date closed

14 September 2021

Key documents

Yorkshire Water: Final decision on an appeal made under section 105(1) of the Water Industry Act 1991


If you have a query about this case, please contact [email protected]

If you have a media enquiry please contact the Ofwat Press Office: 0121 644 7642 / 7821 / 7616 / [email protected]