Order a Drainage and Water Search today
Are you buying a property? Find out how it is connected to main water and sewer lines for a fixed fee of £106 INC VAT.

The report checks the property is connected to mains water & sewage, as well as checking for any public sewage and water pipes within property boundary.

Water and Drainage Search

02/11/2022
(Last Updated: 28/02/2024)
8,222
5 min read
Key Takeaways
  • A water and drainage search is mandatory if you're buying using a mortgage and checks how your property is connected to mains water & sewage and if any public sewage and water pipes are located within the property boundary.
  • If any public water or drainage pipes are identified on your land, the local authority has the right to access it and carry out any maintenance works, which can be frustrating for you as a homeowner.
  • All information is collected from the relevant water authority. You can read an example below.
  • You can order this search for a fixed fee of £106 INC VAT and the turnaround time is 10-14 days.
  • Use a water drainage search before building an extension to avoid risking building over the sewer.

Surface water flooding has become a serious issue in recent times in England and Wales and so good access to drainage is highly important. If you're buying a house, it is important to check how this will affect your property. Your conveyancing solicitor will read your water and drainage search and advise you if any matters of concern are flagged up.

What is a water and drainage search?

A water and drainage search is one of the main four property searches and targets essential information relating to a property’s access to water and drainage facilities.

Search companies compile data from the relevant water authority, and the report is in the form of several essential questions with a summary answer to each. Later sections analyse in much greater depth each question asked.

If you are buying a property with a mortgage, lenders require you to buy this search. While not requiring it, cash buyers are advised to get it for peace of mind. It is important to know that should any public water or drainage pipe be identified on your land/property, the local water authority has the right to access it to carry out works.

Some lenders require buyers to order this search directly from the relevant water company and not a search company, as a water company will have greater access to data. However, search companies are invariably insured for indemnity should a lack of data result in a disaster and a search company’s water and drainage search is normally less expensive.


What does a drainage search reveal?

The main points covered in this search are:
  • Mains Water
  • Foul Water
  • Surface Water Sewer
  • Sewer Pipe Within Boundary
  • Water Pipe Within Boundary
Water And Drainage Search

Where applicable, maps can be provided in this report. These include Public Sewer Plans and Waterworks Plans. This report will only highlight public water lines and drains, as the only ones the local water authority is responsible for. Should there be any private supply pipes or drains within the property's boundary, the buyer is responsible for further investigating how this affects the property.

Drainage
  • Do the records inspected indicate that foul water from the property drains to a public sewer?
  • Do the records inspected indicate that surface water from the property drains to a public sewer?
  • Does the Public Sewer Map indicate any public sewer, disposal main or lateral drain within the boundaries of the property?
  • Does the Public Sewer Map indicate any public sewer within 30.48 metres (100 feet) of any buildings within the property?
  • Does the Public Sewer Map indicate that sewers or lateral drains serving or which are proposed to serve the property the subject of an existing adoption agreement or an application for such an agreement?
Water
  • How can the drinking water quality for the area be checked?
  • Do the records inspected indicate the property is connected to mains water supply?
  • Are there any water mains, resource mains or discharge pipes within the boundaries of the property?
Charging
  • Who are the sewerage undertakers for this area?
  • Who are the water undertakers for the area?

Getting a water and drainage search is essential as it tells you if the property is connected to the main water supply and drainage. If that is not the case, extra costs will be incurred to manage the property. This information might deter buyers from going ahead with the transaction.

For example, if you're interested in buying a newly built property, it is recommended to check if the development has an adoption agreement in place with the local water authority. If not, you might be forced to invest in private water supply and drainage options.

Order a Water and Drainage Report

Fixed fee of £106 INC VAT | Delivered within 3-14 days

 
Frequently Asked Questions
TIME
PLANS
NEED
Andrew Boast of Sam Conveyancing
Written by:
Andrew started his career in 2000 working within conveyancing solicitor firms and grew hands on knowledge of a wide variety of conveyancing challenges and solutions. After helping in excess of 50,000 clients in his career, he uses all this experience within his article writing for SAM, mainstream media and his self published book How to Buy a House Without Killing Anyone.
Caragh Bailey, Digital Marketing Manager
Reviewed by:

Caragh is an excellent writer in her own right as well as an accomplished copy editor for both fiction and non-fiction books, news articles and editorials. She has written extensively for SAM for a variety of conveyancing, survey and mortgage related articles.

SAM Conveyancing's guide on getting a coal mining search report

Coal Mining Search

17/07/2022
3,104
Environmental Search Report from SAM Conveyancing

Environmental Search Report

29/11/2017
7,422
Chancel Search for Chancel Liability, with SAM Conveyancing

Chancel Search

31/10/2022
5,557
ConveyancingProcessMobile

FREE Online Conveyancing Process For Buyers

Our conveyancing process area includes:
  • online checklists
  • videos
  • free downloads
  • useful tips
It is completely free to use - from start to finish - and saves your progress along the way.