Sewerage Sector Guidance (SSG)

A Changed Approach to SuDS Adoption.

On the 1st April 2020, new sewerage adoption arrangements came into effect through the publication of the Sewerage Sector Guidance (SSG), and will apply to all water and sewerage companies in England.

As part of the process to develop the SSG documents, the old industry guidance ‘Sewers for Adoption’ has been replaced by the ‘Design and Construction Guidance (DCG)’, which became mandatory from 01 October 2020. The new rules allow a variety of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) such as detention basins, swales, infiltration basins, soakaways and ponds etc, that are compliant with the DCG, to be officially recognised as ‘sewers’ and can now be adopted by water and sewerage companies under S104 of the Water Industry Act 1991, in a similar manner to pipes, manholes and pumping stations.

While the value of SuDS has long been acknowledged, the most significant barrier to their increased use has been uncertainty about the maintenance responsibility of these assets in the long-term.  However, now that a sewerage company will now be able to adopt most SuDS, it is hoped that the new rules will help to remove this barrier and will lead to far wider implementation of SuDS in surface water and flood risk management. The new Code aims to ensure that there is a consistent approach to these adoption agreements in the sector.

The response from water and sewerage companies has been overwhelmingly positive about the new guidance.

Almost all water and sewerage authorities have confirmed that they will conduct in line with the new Sewer Sector Guidance and will review SuDS designs that comply with the CIRIA guidance and DCG, leading to their potential adoption.

Meeting the standards.

Ultimately, they do need to be satisfied that the proposed minimum standards of operation and maintenance are appropriate, for both adoptable elements and any connecting non-adoptable elements of the system. It is also important to note that developers do not have to offer SuDS for adoption to sewerage companies and can continue to arrange adoption with local authorities or private management companies should they so wish.


Speak with one of our specialists.
Return to Insights

What our clients say…

“CE carried out the work we commissioned exactly as we would have wanted it in a courteous, friendly and professional manner.”

John Stuart Grant, Grantham Bros Ltd

“CE are great to deal with, their knowledgeable and professional approach was key to helping us achieve a very positive outcome.”

Robin Uttley, United Utilities

“Wonderful service, fast, thought-out and accurate. Assisted us greatly in getting our project scoped out and costed quickly and efficiently.”

Dominic Fry, Avebury Sports & Social Club

“CE offered our design practice a very thorough, friendly and professional highways report service that fully met our brief and within the timescales requested.”

Andrew Jackson, Sylva Group

“The consultant was knowledgeable, professional and efficient. Good value for money. I would highly recommend them.”

Julie Jeanes, Linwood School

“I work regularly with Cole Easdon on a variety of projects for different house builder clients. I have always found them to be very reliable and very pro-active when dealing with highway and drainage authorities.”

Roger Smith, Savills (Oxford)

“Without the professional support from Cole Easdon we would not have been able to challenge and prove the local planning department were incorrect regarding their comments made about our flood zone status.”

Rob Charman, Cuddra Aquatics

“It’s the personal (not corporate) approach you take on projects that I like.”

James Bulley, Trivandi

"CE are very professional, promote good relationships with Clients and provide good civil/drainage solutions on time."

Cidalia Teixeira, Clegg Associates

"They are a thoroughly professional and reliable company. They provide expert advice and support and their reports are first class. They are very willing to engage and give an opinion as to the best way to overcome a problem. Delightful to deal with too."

Andrew Bond, Client