Regulation to be aware of


Building and developing can sometimes feel very complicated, as there are a number of different legal requirements and regulations you must meet.

The good news is our team has an in-depth knowledge of the legal requirements and regulations specific to Wales, and the adjoining parts of England we serve.

Our expert team can work closely with you to make sure your work meets regulation. Once you pass our inspections, we’ll connect your pipework to the network.

Here’s a handy summary of current regulation that you might find useful:

All new houses and flats in Wales need fire sprinklers

Since January 2016, all new and converted houses and flats now need to have fire sprinkler systems installed.

This is Welsh Government legislation, and is detailed in its Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure which you can read in full here.

What do you need to know?

  • If you’re developing a new building or site, all your buildings should have fire sprinkler systems.
  • This regulation only applies to domestic or residential buildings, and not buildings used for commercial purposes.
  • Once you’ve designed your fire sprinkler system, we will then inspect it and make sure that it meets regulation (Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999).
  • We can provide a larger 32mm connection with an electro-pulse meter when requested. This is the typical option selected where the fire sprinkler designer has advised for you to install a direct mains-fed sprinkler system.
  • We can’t guarantee the constant availability of water, flow or pressure required for such systems and that these aspects must be considered when designing the sprinkler system. We operate a minimum operational pressure of 1.5 Bar in line with current regulation.

Want to know more?

  • Our guidelines for developers provides detail and FAQs on the sprinkler system connections.
  • Still interested in more detail? Contact these two organisations:

New developments in Wales need sustainable drainage systems

Since January 2019, all new developments that:

  • Include more than one building or
  • Have a construction area of 100m2 or more

have to include sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) for surface water.

This is Welsh Government legislation, and is detailed in its schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 which you can read in full here.

Traditional drainage systems can increase the risk of flooding. SuDS imitate the natural drainage process, meaning they lessen the risk of flooding.

What do you need to know?

  • If you’re developing a site of more than one building, you need to design it with a sustainable drainage system in mind.
  • SuDS must be designed and built in accordance with the Welsh Government’s statutory standards.
  • SuDS schemes must be approved by the SuDS Approving Body (SAB), before construction work begins.
  • SABs are delivered by local authorities across Wales. Here’s a handy list of local authorities in our operating area – we’d recommend contacting them directly and asking to speak to their SAB team.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

 Bridgend County Borough Council

Caerphilly County Borough Council

Carmarthenshire County Council

Ceredigion County Council

City and County of Swansea

City of Cardiff Council

Conwy County Borough Council

Denbighshire County Council

Flintshire County Council

Gwynedd Council

Isle of Anglesey County Council

Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

Monmouthshire County Council

Neath Port Talbot Council

Newport City Council

Pembrokeshire County Council

Powys County Council

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council

Torfaen County Borough Council

Vale of Glamorgan Council

Wrexham County Borough Council

  • Once you’ve applied to your local planning authority for approval, they will contact us to confirm that we can manage any new wastewater connections into our network.
  • Once both the local planning authority and SAB have approved your design, it will then be adopted and maintained by the SAB.
  • You don’t need to get SAB approval if:
    • Your development has drainage implications of a single house and the area of land covered by the construction work is less than 100m2, or
    • The area of land covered is less than 100m2 and involves any other type of construction work.

Want to know more?

Don’t forget

  • You might also be eligible for our surface water incentive scheme if you have plans to remove surface water from the wastewater network

Most new sewers must be adopted by us before they are built

If you’re connecting to the public sewer network by either a lateral drain (i.e. a drain which extends beyond the connecting property boundary) or a new sewer (i.e. serves more than one property), you’ll probably need to enter into an adoption agreement with us (Water Industry Act 1991).

When it comes to designing sewers and lateral drains that you want us to adopt, they must comply with the Design Guide ‘Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition' standards as well as the Welsh Ministers Standards for Gravity Foul Sewers and Lateral Drains.

You also must prove that you (or your contractor) are able to safely access the public sewer network, by demonstrating that you have the appropriate health and safety systems and processes in place.

What do you need to know?

  • You will probably need to enter into an adoption agreement with us before building a new lateral drain or sewer.
  • All sewers and lateral drains must comply with Design Guide ‘Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition' standards and the Welsh Ministers Standards for Gravity Foul Sewers and Lateral Drains.
  • If either you or your contractor want to access our public sewer network, you must prove you have the appropriate health and safety systems and processes in place.
  • We will only allow contractors to access the network once we’ve confirmed that they are a member organisation the Safe Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) accreditation process.
  • SSIP is endorsed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which has brought together numerous existing Health and Safety accreditation bodies under the SSIP umbrella.
  • When we receive a sewer connection application, we will satisfy ourselves that the appointed contractor has the necessary SSIP accreditation. We will then send both you and your appointed contractor a copy of the approval letter which will outline the next steps.

Want to know more?

If you want to find out more about the Safe Schemes in Procurement (SSIP) organisation, visit its website.