How Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7] affects specification of Inspection Chambers

The specification of the appropriate Inspection Chamber has become even more difficult following the publication of Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7].

Inspection Chambers for adoptable and non-adoptable applications

This article explores the fundamental principles which need to be considered when specifying the use of plastic Inspection Chambers in either an adoptable and/or non-adoptable situation.

For the purpose of this article, the definition of the two application areas is as follows.

Inspection Chambers for adoptable applications:

  • Lateral drains or sewers that serve two or more properties and connect to the UK public sewerage network, which are owned and maintained by the relevant Water and Sewerage Companies

Inspection Chambers for non-adoptable applications:

  • Drains which a) serve individual properties and b) are installed within the curtilage of the property, and are owned and maintained by the property owner.

New rules for Inspection Chambers

Since April 2000 the main reference document for the design and installation of Inspection Chambers has been the Building Regulations.

In April 2002 Approved Document H was published and under ‘Section 2 – Table 11: Minimum dimensions for access fittings and Inspection Chambers’, the document clearly established the rules under which Inspection Chambers could be used across all types of applications.

Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7] on standardising the use of Inspection Chambers

In 2010, Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7] was published and the document was designed for use in England with a view to standardising the use of Inspection Chambers across all adoptable drainage installations.

The document includes typical inspection chamber details and refers to new standards and application details as to how these should be installed in adoptable situations, which would ultimately be owned by water companies.

The major impact of this document, which has resulted in some confusion in the industry, is that the specification and type of Inspection Chamber to be used in adoptable areas differs from those contained within the Building Regulations.

How approved Document H v Sewers for Adoption 7 defines Inspection Chambers

Approved Document H clearly defines Inspection Chambers under two definitions: Inspection Chambers – shallow and Inspection Chambers – deep.

However, Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7] refers to them as Types, a comparison between the two documents being as follows:

Building Regulations

How Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7] affects specification of Inspection Chambers

Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7]

How Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7] affects specification of Inspection Chambers






Check out our handy guide to choosing the right Inspection Chamber for your next project.

For more information on Sewers for Adoption 7 [SfA7], click here.