New section 94A Drainage and sewerage management plans: preparation and review
665 New section 94A introduces a new duty on sewerage undertakers in England and Wales regarding drainage and sewerage management plans.
666 Subsection (1) sets out the requirement for each sewerage undertaker to prepare, publish and maintain a plan.
667 Subsection (2) defines the plan with reference to Part 4 of the Water Industry Act 1991. This Part includes section 94 of the Water Industry Act 1991, which is the duty on the sewerage undertakers to provide, maintain and extend a system of public sewers to ensure that their area of operation is and continues to be "effectually drained". The production of the plan will demonstrate how a sewerage company will meet its duties under Part 4 of the Water Industry Act 1991 including section 94.
668 Subsection (3) sets out the specific matters the plan must address, namely an assessment of the sewerage undertaker’s drainage and sewerage system capacity, current and future demand, and resilience. The sewerage undertaker is required to set out in the plan what it intends to do to maintain an effective system of sewerage and drainage, and when those actions are likely to be taken. Any relevant risks to the environment and mitigation measures should be recorded in the plan. Should other factors become relevant, the Minister (defined in subsection (10) as the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers) may make directions specifying additional matters that must be addressed by the plan.
669 Subsection (4) points to section 94C, which makes provision for the preparation and publication of a plan.
670 Subsection (5) sets out that the sewerage undertaker must review its plan on an annual basis and share the conclusions of that review with the Minister.
671 Subsection (6) specifies the circumstances in which a sewerage undertaker must produce a revised plan. This must occur within 5 years of publication of the last plan, or earlier if an annual review indicated a material change of circumstances or if the Minister gives directions that a revised plan is needed.
672 Subsection (7) sets out that the Minister can give directions to sewerage companies regarding the form of, or the time period covered by, the plan. The intention is that the planning period is long-term, in the region of around 25 years.
673 Subsection (8) refers to enforcement powers at section 18 of the Water Industry Act 1991.
674 Subsection (9) defines "drainage system" and "sewerage system" as used in the preceding subsections. Section 114A of the Water Industry Act 1991 defines a "drainage system" as a structure designed to receive rainwater and other surface water, other than a natural watercourse. Section 17BA of the Water Industry Act 1991 defines the "sewerage system" of a sewerage undertaker as the system comprising (a) the system of public sewers, the facilities for emptying public sewers and the sewage disposal works and other facilities for dealing effectually with the contents of public sewers that the undertaker is required to provide by section 94 of the Water Industry Act 1991, and (b) the lateral drains that the undertaker is required to maintain by section 94 of the Water Industry Act 1991.
675 Subsection (10) defines "Minister", as used in the preceding subsections, as meaning the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers in relation to English and Welsh sewerage undertakers respectively.