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Self lay

You can construct mains and services on new developments sites yourself if you're registered with the Water Industry Registration Scheme (WIRS), a national scheme overseen by Lloyds of London. 

Or you can appoint a WIRS registered Self Lay Providers (SLP) to do the work on your behalf.  They will need to contact us, with your authorisation, to agree our costs. We'll work closely with developers who are considering laying water mains as part of a multi-utility programme.

Self-lay providers

Find a self-lay provider

 Additional guidance

The Water Industry Code for Adoption provides guidance that covers the provision of water infrastructure for housing and industry development in England and Wales. More information on this can be seen on our Water Codes for Adoption page.

The work that Self Lay providers can undertake, and the practices and processes that we follow for Self Lay schemes, are covered by the Water Code for Adoption. Although based on our latest Annual Contestability Summary (ACS), Self Lay providers can lay all elements of a new water mains, except for the final connection (between the newly laid main to the existing infrastructure) which needs to be completed by us. Once the new mains have been installed by the Self Lay provider and connected by us, we will adopt it into our network.

Self Lay providers can also complete service connection works (up to but not including 63mm based on our latest ACS).  The service connection element of your scheme will be included as part of the Self Lay mains application. ie. we do not need a separate application for the services.

You can ask a Self Lay provider to also complete the design element of your mains scheme which we will then review before approving. Schemes where the Self Lay provider has completed the design has a cheaper application fee than if we are asked to complete the design element.

For further details on the process, timescales and other useful information for progressing self-lay mains, please refer to our self-lay provider user guide.

To apply for self lay at your development, we'll need:

  • a site plan
  • A soil analysis report (for developments not deemed Greenfield)
  • A completed application form

Email your application form to:

What happens next?
The following summarises the key steps of the application process, but for further details please refer to our self-lay provider user guide.

  1. Make your application
  2. We’ll confirm receipt within five days
  3. We approve or prepare a design as appropriate and you’ll receive a quote and Legal Agreement within 28 days (42 days if greater than 500 plots)
  4. You make payment for any required non contestable costs and return signed Legal Agreement (if the scheme is self lay)
  5. Pre-start meeting
  6. Programme agreed
  7. You lay the mains
  8. We will provide a source of water connection to enable you to complete testing where the new mains is connecting onto the existing network on a date which is either by agreement (on the ‘right day’ for you) or within 28 days of receiving the signed agreement (unless agreed otherwise – typically to suit site programme). Where the new mains is connecting into an existing length of mains on a development site (inline connection) the facility to carry out the testing already exists.
  9. You test, swab and chlorinate mains
  10. Once the tests have passed we make final connection to commission mains (permanent supply) within 14 days or you can make the inline connection if connecting into an existing length of main on the site (we’ll agree the date for inline connections within 5 days)
  11. We issue vesting certificate within 5 days
  12. If it is a legacy scheme where an asset payment applies we’ll make this payment to the SLP/Developer within 35 days
  13. The mains are ready for service connections.

Service connection steps

  1. Make an application (if mains are required the mains and services will be on one application and therefore a separate application is not required at this stage).
  2. We’ll confirm receipt within five days (if step 1 is applicable)
  3. A development technician (estimator) will visit site to quote the service connections on any properties that are on an existing road.
  4. Quotation is built and issued to the customer within 28 days from receipt of all the required information.
  5. The next stage is driven by the customer, we require payment for the connection, council confirmed postal address for each plot and an inspection to be carried out on the supply pipe(s) laid on premises. The inspection doesn’t need to be carried out by ourselves, it can be carried out by another party provided they are accredited to do so, more information on this option can be found on our self-certifying and meter fit page.
  6. Once we have all the above (3 Ps payment, postal and passed inspection) the connection can be raised and we will issue consent for you to connect within five days. For guidance on how to lay services see Installing water supply pipes.
  7. Once the connections have been made we require confirmation of this within 1 day for non-household connections and 5 days for household connections.
  8. The final site-based step is to fit the meters and Self Lay providers can also carry out this task. We require the meter details at the same time that step 7 occurs, more information on meter fitting can be found on our self-certifying and meter fit page.
  9. Once we know that connections have been completed we will look to settle the balance of infrastructure charges and income offset.

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