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How close can I build to public sewer?

  • 12-02-2023 8:02pm
    Registered Users Posts: 10,393 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi folks,

    I know this is one which will likely need to be taken up with Irish Water but I'm wondering what other people's experiences are

    We're considering doing an extension in a few years and would like to stay within the planning exception of less than 40m2 (plus other restrictions)

    Around 3 metres from the back of our house is the public sewer pipe. We've two access covers out the back for our sewer pipes. There's no access cover for the public sewer in our garden but there's covers in the neighbours gardens, so I've got a good idea of where it is

    Not sure what the depth is but the builder said "a couple of meters" so probably less than 3 meters

    I'm wondering how close I'm allowed to go to the sewer pipe with an extension?

    I'm guessing building over it would be in the bad idea category, and I'd need to move the existing access covers, so there'd need to be space for those

    I took a look at the Irish water site and they seem to say the minimum clearance is 3 metres, so that seems to say I can't build an extension ☹️

    Strange how it doesn't seem to say anything to that effect in the council planning restrictions, maybe they don't care about Irish Water 🤔

    So assuming the public sewer will be a problem, what are my options? There's houses either side on the same pipe so I'm guessing moving the sewer isn't going to be feasible

    There's plenty of houses with extensions, although none on my road. Are they all just building as close as they want to the sewer without asking or is there something I'm missing?

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,393 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    Also, just to be clear I don't want any risk of a leak from the sewer. Had a few issues with drains getting blocked so if any disasters happen I don't want them close to the house

    Just want to know what the official procedure is in case Cowboy Barry's Building Co. tells me it'll be grand to build over the sewer

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 45,682 ✭✭✭✭muffler

    Are you talking about 3 metres vertically or horizontally or both? Is the sewer line in your property your private connections only or where exactly is the main sewer? Maybe a wee freehand drawn sketch might help.

    I know of quite a few extensions built over sewer pipes but how many have been legally agreed is another matter.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,393 ✭✭✭✭the_amazing_raisin

    I'll see if I can do a sketch tomorrow, but the wordy version is that I'm in a row of semi detached houses. The public sewer runs across the back gardens of all the houses, so there's houses either side of me on the same connection

    The private connections come out the back of the houses and connect straight to the public sewer pipe. There's two connections per house, each with its own access cover. I think they did that to reduce the number of bends in the pipes, one of the covers is for the downstairs toilet and the other handles everything else

    I got the minimum clearance info from here

    If I'm reading it correctly then where the depth of the bottom of the pipe less and 3 metres vertically (seems like my case, can't imagine it's much deeper) then the minimum clearance to any foundation is 3 metres horizontally

    "The internet never fails to misremember" - Sebastian Ruiz, aka Frost

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,091 ✭✭✭✭Calahonda52

    Is it not this

    Building over an Uisce Éireann Sewer

    Uisce Éireann will only permit building-over of public sewers in very limited circumstances. Building-over an Uisce Éireann Sewer will only be considered if the proposed development is an extension to an existing house and if the Sewer has either

    1. a maximum diameter of 150mm or;
    2. has a diameter of 225mm while serving less than thirteen (13) houses upstream of the proposed build-over works.

    You will have to complete the "Building-over or Near an Uisce ÉireannAsset Application form” and then send this to via email to this email address. On receipt of your application we will review the proposal and if it is determined that a build-over is acceptable, you will be required to enter into a Build Over Agreement with Uisce Éireann prior to any works commencing on site. The Build Over Agreement will outline the specific requirements for the build-over, including roles and responsibilities, appropriate construction methods, insurance requirements, warranties etc.

    “I can’t pay my staff or mortgage with instagram likes”.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,837 ✭✭✭✭looksee

    I built a small conservatory (very small, about 7ft x 10ft) standing about 4ft above ground level over a public sewer in my last house, it did have an access cover very close to the side of the extension which was inclined to block up a bit and had to be cleared at intervals, not a big problem. Eventually when I moved a surveyor looked at the house for the purchasers and insisted on retrospective planning permission for both it, a change to the frontage and another extension that pre-dated us, and a couple of wooden sheds (?!) all granted with no issues.

    It was a 70s estate, with so many extensions, alterations and cobbled on bits on all the houses that I reckon the Planners had nearly given up on it! They might not be so easy going on an estate where you can still see what the original houses looked like!

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