When designing, commissioning and maintaining piping systems for adoption in Section 104 agreements, developers and their selected designers have a plethora of product and material options and a number of considerations to consider. The Section 104 agreement results in a drainage system that drains private areas such as roofs and driveways, as well as highway drainage. The cost of entering into this type of agreement depends on factors such as the size of the development and the system required. The newly elected Conservative government has committed to creating 275,000 affordable housing units by 2020. In this context, the volume of applications for section 104 agreements is expected to increase exponentially. To avoid delays and additional costs for their projects, developers need to consider drainage planning and make important decisions – including material selection – as soon as possible. A smooth design and submission process often means that sewers are easier to accept and that attachment to the developer can be reduced – often leading to a faster and more cost-effective construction program. For water management strategies to be successfully approved and for an agreement to be reached under Section 104, it is important to assess the needs of each site in order to provide the optimal solution. A Section 104 agreement (under the Water Industry Act 1991) is an agreement between a developer and a sewerage company for the adoption of sewer systems for development.
There are strict rules for getting an agreement that can be a minefield for developers. The process is often on the critical path of a project and decisions related to it can have a huge impact on costs. In Wales, mandatory building standards require that an agreement be in place under Section 104 before development can progress. Since this legislation is likely to be implemented in England, it is essential that all stakeholders in housing projects understand the process. A Section 104 adoption contract must be concluded before construction of the canal begins.