Your guide to trench inspections

Once you’ve applied for a new water connection, we’ll review it and let you know if we need any more information. We’ll then provide the quote and a connection plan within 28 days of receiving the full application.

Once you’ve received the quote and connection plan

It’s important to note that the quote is only valid for six months, meaning you have six months to pay it. Once you’ve paid it, the responsibility is on you to lay your trench and contact us when you’re ready for us to inspect it.

As part of a new water connection, you’re expected to dig the trench in the land within your property boundary, as well as any third-party land that sits between your property boundary and the connection point. When we share the quote with you, we’ll also share a connection plan which clearly shows that you are responsible for all the work from point A to point B on the plan.

How to book a trench inspection

Once you’ve done this work, all new water connections will require a trench inspection. This is our way of checking that what is installed complies with regulation right at the beginning of the development.

When you are ready for a trench inspection, it is important that the trench and pipework is left open for us to inspect. If you meet the below criteria, then you are ready to book your trench inspection with us.

Your trench inspection checklist:

  1. The pipework has been laid to a minimum depth of 750mm from A to B as shown in the connection plan we sent you with the quote
  2. The trench is open, or…
  3. The trench isn’t open, but I have created inspection holes along the trench and excavated both ends
  4. You’ve made sure there’ll be nothing obstructing our access onto the site such as skips or scaffolding
  5. If any part of the private pipework has been laid in third party land, I have obtained easements and shared copies of them with you
  6. If any part of the private pipework has been laid in council owned land or highway, I have obtained a section 50 street works licence and shared copies of it with you
  7. You have fitted any relevant fittings (such as drain-off valve and stop tap)
  8. If there is oil-based heating at/or being installed at the property, you’ve installed a barrier pipe
  9. If you’re installing a domestic fire sprinkler, you’ve installed the T-piece before the stop tap with relevant fittings (such as single check valve)
  10. If the new water connection is for a multiple occupancy setup, then you’ve set up an internal manifold branch.
  11. If your new water connection is for a 63mm or above pipe, then you’ve chlorinated your pipe and have shared the chlorination lab results with us.

What happens next?

If you can tick all of the above checklist boxes, contact us. We will then request an inspector to visit your property to inspect your trench and pipework. We aim to carry out inspections within 5 working days.

Once the inspection has been carried out and passed, we will instruct our contractors to carry out your new connection. We will aim to complete your connection within 21 days. In some cases, a road closure is needed to make the connection. In these cases, an additional 12 weeks may be added to our timescales.

Here are some documents and guides you may find useful:

Hopefully the above helps you to prepare for your trench inspection. Still have questions? Ring us on 0800 917 2652 or email us at