Self-lay schemes

New water mains for your development can be laid by us or you can use your own contractor, also known as a self-lay provider (SLP). Once your development is complete we will adopt the water network. 


Self-lay providers must be accredited to the Water Industry Registration Scheme (WIRS) which is run by Lloyd's Register. Being accredited means they work to national industry standards, so they understand our policies and procedures for laying new mains and making service connections.


You can find a WIRS accredited company, and information on the scheme, on the Lloyd's Register website.


Below is a guide for working with self-lay providers, including links to relevant application forms. For all correspondence relating to self-lay works, including application forms, please send to:

  • Step 1 – Pre-planning (developer)

    As a developer, before you apply for planning permission, it’s important to understand any potential challenges with supplying water to the site. We provide a free pre-planning assessment, to do this we’ll need information on your development.

    Please complete a Water pre-development enquiry form (PDF 107 KB opens new window) and return to us with:

    • A map showing the site boundary and preferred point of connection or site entrance.
    • The estimated date the water supply is required.
  • Step 2 – Point of connection application (SLP)

    At the detailed planning stage, please complete a Self-lay point of connection application form (PDF 205 KB opens in new window), you will need to include:

    • Planning status and reference number.
    • Estimated build programme.
    • Access or third party land requirements.
    • Site layout plan.

    You can also work out approximate costs for the work with the Self-lay calculator (XLS 102 KB opens in new window)

  • Step 3 – Design acceptance (SLP)

    For your water network designs to be approved please complete the Self-lay application form (PDF 340 KB opens new window) and pay your application fee. For details of fees and how to pay, please see the New connections and developer services charges scheme (PDF 2.36 MB opens new window)

    You may opt to apply on our old terms until 31st March 2021, if you wish to do so, please complete this self-lay application form (PDF 323 KB opens new window) and pay your application fee.

    You will also need to provide:

    • Most recent site layout in CAD format. 
    • Proposed water network design (CAD and PDF format).
    • A completed United Utilities’ risk assessment for water pipes Land risk assessment (PDF 110 KB opens in a new window)
    • The estimated date the permanent water supply is required.
    • Confirmation of the lead designer for the development and a copy of HSE F10 form (if applicable).
    • Main contractor’s project health and safety plan.
    • Pre-remediation or post-remediation site investigation (SI) report (where applicable).
    • Easement drawing (CAD and PDF) (if applicable).
    • List of affected land owners (if applicable).

    For further information please see:

  • Step 4 – Sign adoption agreement (all parties)

    With our design acceptance we will also issue a self-lay agreement. All parties involved in the development should sign the adoption agreement before sending it to us, we will then sign it. 

    We will then send details of any construction costs and infrastructure charges. For sites with multiple plots, we will also email a tracker form to the SLP, this is a list of all plots and their status.

    Here is an example of a Self-lay agreement.

  • Step 5 – Construct mains (SLP)

    Complete a whereabouts form with details of the work being carried out near our water network and send to us. 

    It’s then over to you to construct the mains as per the agreed design.

    The branch connection will need to be made by us as this is non-contestable work for your site. When you’re ready for this, please let us know a minimum of 28 days before by completing the Request for work (RFW2) for mains branch connections to an existing water main (PDF 54 KB opens in new window).

  • Step 6 – Connect and vest mains (SLP)

    Before the new main can be connected, it needs to be pressure tested and samples taken for bacteriological testing, please let us know five days before the work is carried out by completing a Mains testing and service connections programme form (SL07) (Excel 30KB).

    Once you receive valid pass sample results, please send the information below to us within one calendar day of receiving the results:

    • If the SLP is accredited for construction of routine mains connections (CRMC) submit CRMC paperwork. We will give our permission within seven calendar days for the main's connection to be made. It should be carried out on the agreed date and you should then confirm, within one day, that the connection went ahead as planned.


    You should also supply:

    • Pressure and sample result certificates.
    • Completed vesting certificate, including notification of plots for connection (copy of certificate is included with adoption agreement). 
    • As-laid drawings.
    • Proposed date for works via the weekly whereabouts form.

    Following the main's connection taking place, we will issue the declaration of vesting. The mains will then be part of our water network which we are responsible for.

  • Step 7 – Make service connections (UU or SLP)

    If you want us to make the connection please complete a Request for work (service connection) RFW1 form (PDF 213 KB opens new window).

    Please also provide:

    • Written confirmation of the new postal address for each plot from the local authority street name and numbering department, or confirmation that they’re showing on the Royal Mail website.
    • WIAPS (Water Industry Approved Plumber Scheme) certificate for pipework if you’ve used a WIAPS certified plumber, if not please arrange an inspection by us.

    Alternatively the SLP can make the connection. Before they do, they should send us a notification of intention to connect (at plot level) via the weekly whereabouts form, and postal addresses from the local authority street name and numbering department. The SLP can then carry out the connection and fit the meter (where applicable).

  • Step 8 – Notify service connection (SLP)

    Once the connection has been made the SLP should notify us, via their tracker, which plots have been connected, the date of the connection, and the meter serial number.

    Alternatively, if we are fitting the meter, we will contact you to arrange a time to do this.

    We will then register the connection and meter on our billing system.

For further information please see:

Codes for adoption 

As you may be aware Ofwat are looking to introduce from January 2021, a standard practice across the water industry in England for water companies to follow when adopting self-laid mains.

This proposed standard practice is known as the code for adoption and is also referred to as “the codes”.

For further information, please see the Water UK approved documents.

Important Notice

Waste Water Flooding

Heavy rainfall across the North West may be causing flooding in some parts of the region.

Our teams are out across the North West helping customers who have experienced sewer flooding in their homes.

If you’re experiencing flooding from a road or footpath and there is no evidence of sewage (toilet paper etc.) please report this to your local council, who are responsible for highways drainage flooding.

Please be aware that our phone lines are much busier than normal, take a look at our flooding page for further advice on what to do if you’re affected by flooding.

Heavy rainfall across the North West may be causing flooding in some parts of the region. We are out helping customers who have experienced sewer flooding. If you’re experiencing flooding from a road or footpath with no evidence of sewage please report this to your local council. Please be aware that our phone lines are much busier than usual

Waste Water Flooding

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