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Self-lay schemes

When it comes to new water mains for your development, we can lay them, or you can use your own contractor, known as a self-lay provider (SLP). Once your development is complete, we’ll adopt the water network as long as it meets the guidance below.


Codes for adoption

In January 2021, Ofwat introduced a standard practice across the water industry in England. Water companies need to follow this when adopting self-laid mains.

This standard practice is known as the water code for adoption and is also referred to as ‘the codes’. You can find out more on the Water UK website.

When finding a self-lay provider, it is important that they are accredited. Self-lay providers must be accredited by the Water Industry Registration Scheme (WIRS). This ensures all work is completed to national industry standards. You can find a WIRS-accredited self-lay provider, along with information about self-lay schemes, on the Lloyd's Register website.

Self lay scheme process: lay a new main

The guide below explains how to work with self-lay providers. You can find out how much we charge for these applications in our New Connections Charging document. If you’re a self-lay provider looking to complete a development in our network, here are the steps to help you with your project. We'll keep in touch throughout the process to make sure everything runs smoothly.


Pre-planning enquiry

Before applying to lay a new main, you should first apply for a pre-planning enquiry with us. This allows us to plan for future network capacity requirements. It also helps you make an informed choice on which delivery route is best for your site.


Apply online

You can apply online using the GetConnected portal. Simply log into your account and select the option 'lay a new main'. During your application, please let us know whether you intend to design the main yourself or wish for us to design it for you.


Confirmation of the point of connection

Next, you can submit your mains design or confirm your request for us to design and pay the relevant fee. If you are designing your own main, it's mandatory to have an identified point of connection for your design. Please ensure that you have this before submitting your design.


We'll accept your design

We’ll assess your design and respond to you within 14 days. Along with your design acceptance, we’ll send you a form which you need to sign before we can progress. When returning the design acceptance form, please include any non-contestable costs or outstanding payments due.


Adoption agreement

Once we have accepted the design, all parties will need to sign and return the adoption agreement to selflay@southernwater.co.uk. This agreement will confirm the date that the source of the water connection will be made. We will then also sign it and provide you with a copy.

Construct the new main

We'll arrange a pre-start meeting to go through the next steps and what documents are required at each stage. We'll first make your source of water connection, then you can proceed to construct the water mains using the agreed design.


Apply for Service Connections

Using your GetConnected login, tell us how you want to make service connections and what meters you need. We'll issue consent for the connections and costing details within 5 days of receiving your complete application. Before the new main can be connected, it needs to be pressure tested and samples taken for bacteriological testing.


We'll send your declaration of vesting

Once everything is complete on site and we have reviewed the documents, we'll send your certificate via Get Connected.

Request a callback

We know that every project is different. If you need further assistance, please use this form to request a callback from our team.

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