This information is to guide homeowners, builders and developers in the correct disposal of foul and surface waters to reduce any risk of flooding.
Foul and surface water sewers
Modern homes generally drain into separated sewers, one for foul and one for surface water.
A foul sewer takes only waste water from toilets, washing machines, kitchens and bathrooms.
A surface water sewer takes only rain water from roofs and some hard-standing areas such as driveways, parking areas and patios. It may also drain water from the road.
Older properties may drain to what used to be known as a ‘combined’ system where both foul and surface waters are connected to the same sewer. However, due to the increase in flooding incidents further connection of surface water to this type of sewer is no longer allowed in most cases.
Public and private sewers
Public sewers in most cases are situated in roads or public open spaces; however, in some areas of the Island public sewers cross private land. In this case we are allowed a legal right of access to the sewer for maintenance purposes and are given protection against building taking place over or close to the public sewers.
We keep records of the public sewer system on maps, copies and extracts of which are available on request. We also hold information on individual property drainage and in some areas have details of private sewer systems. If you are unsure how your property drains then please contact us.
A drain is a pipe through which foul or surface water flows from a property to a sewer. The owner of the property is responsible for the drain up to the point where it crosses the property boundary into public land or enters the public sewer.
A private sewer collects and carries foul or surface water from several properties. Again the owners of the private sewer are responsible for the pipe up to the point where it crosses over into the public area or connects to the public sewer.
There are many private estates in the Island which are serviced by private foul and surface water sewers where the owners are jointly responsible for their upkeep.
Connection to a public sewer
Under the Drainage (Jersey) Law, 2005, you will require the permission of the TTS Minister to make a new connection directly or indirectly to a public sewer or alter an existing connection in any way.
New drainage connections to the public sewer system can be provided at cost by TTS or constructed by one of our specified contractors. Please contact us for further details.
Download a sewer connection application form (164kb)
Disposal of surface water
Drainage laws require that surface water run-off from all roofed and hard-standing (impermeable) areas must be separated from the foul water drains and private foul sewers.
You are not allowed to connect surface water from impermeable areas to the foul water drain or private foul sewer and it will not be allowed to flow across any pavement or onto any public road. If you do not have room for a soakaway then we may allow a connection to a water course or a public surface water sewer, if one is available, but restrictions may apply.
Our priority for surface water disposal is:
to an on-site soakaway system, permeable paving solution or Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) or a combination of either of these
to a watercourse possibly with a restricted flow
to the nearest public surface water sewer possibly with a restricted flow
Please also note that for properties close to the beach, the Law does not now allow additional surface water to be drained to the foreshore without approval from the Transport and Technical Services department.
Disposal of foul water
Foul water that drains to the public foul sewers eventually arrives at the Bellozanne sewage treatment works for processing. At Bonne Nuit there is a similar, but much smaller plant. Some properties, mainly in the rural areas where there are no public sewers, drain to private drainage systems such as septic tank and soakaway systems or tight tanks (cesspools) and may only be able to connect by the installation of a private pumping system. The Transport and Technical Services department can offer advice on these systems and the nearest connection point for your property.
If you are unsure as to how your property drains or which connection has been provided, please contact the Transport and Technical Services department for advice.
New drains and private sewers
All new drains and private sewers within the private boundary are required to be constructed in accordance with the Building Bye-Laws (Jersey) 2007 and Building Regulations Approved Document H, 2002. Applications for work in connection with a private drainage system should complete form B5. Please contact the Environment department for further details.
Where larger developments are proposed, the Transport and Technical Services department may require the developer to fund an upgrade of the nearby sewer system and/or the downstream public pumping station. If the site previously drained to a ‘combined’ sewer then it will be a required that the new development must be provided with separate foul and surface water drainage.