What are 'Sewers for Adoption?'

Sewers for Adoption (SFA) refers to a set of published texts that contains guidance for the design and construction of sewers and pump stations. These pump stations are often offered for adoption to the Sewerage Undertakers under a Section 104 agreement. Each Sewerage Undertaker then has a set of their own published addendums that contain guidance on their specified requirements.

We also offer SFA remedial work.

The Process

On receipt of an enquiry we will review the information and produce a preliminary quotation, this will clarify any additional details we may require to issue a confirmed quotation, along with the relevant calculations and equipment specification.

If nominated to provide the design, we will require the following information in PDF & DWG format where applicable.

  • Site/Drainage layout drawings
  • Manhole schedule
  • Long section of the rising main
  • The development size
  • If not present confirmation of the lowest connecting private lateral/first point of flood.

On receipt of this we will proceed with the design. The typical turn around for this is 2-3 weeks. Once complete we will issue the design for inclusion within your Section 104 application. The submission will include the Mechanical and Electrical technical specification for the pump station including layout drawings & control panel wiring diagrams.

On receipt of approval, we will update our quotation in line with the latest design and issue this to you for your review. Should you wish to proceed with Willow Pumps for the installation then we will commence with the procurement of the equipment. The typical lead time for equipment is;

  • First fix 3-4 weeks
  • Second fix – 8-10 Weeks
  • Commissioning – 10-12 Weeks.

Once the chambers have been constructed, if required we would send out a member of our Contracts team for a prestart meeting. At this point, they will check the chambers are ready for installation. Once this has been confirmed and any required changes have been addressed, we would proceed with arranging the first fix.

First fix

The First fix involves the installation of the pipework and valves and earth bonding. Unless the valve chamber drain is required to be cast in the compound, we will also install the valve chamber drain.

First Fix - South West Water Valve Chamber


Following on from the installation of the pipework, the following tasks would need to be completed.

  • Installation of permanent pipework supports, benching of all the chambers in line with Sewers for Adoption.
  • Making good the surrounding ground and construction of the compound;
  • Installation of any ancillary items such as Ladders.
  • Construction of the kiosk plinth and installation of the kiosk and any intermediate kiosks /draw pits.

It is vital that you ensure Benching is completed prior to the system being live. This will help prevent blockages and ensure smoother operation of the pumps. If it is not done at this stage, then you will have problems down the line at the adoption stage, where the ground worker may not necessarily be on site to bench the system.

Second fix

Once complete we will begin the Second fix – This involves installation of the pumps and control equipment, pulling through the cables and commissioning of the system. If a permanent power supply is unavailable, then a return visit will be required to commission the system.




Depending on the water authority, we can organise the telemetry at the developer’s cost, this would then be installed and setup.

In the interim period before adoption, it is highly recommended that a maintenance contract is taken out. This promotes smooth operation of the pump station and ensures any issues and downtime are addressed with minimal impact to the residents.

Prior to pre-adoption / handover, we will come down to the site and carry out our own snagging list on the pump station. This identifies any additional items that would need to be rectified prior to handover. We would provide a price for any additional items outside of our original scope that are within our capabilities. This is done to speed up the process at the handover stage.

We will meet with you and the relevant authority on the site during the handover stage. At this point, the water company will inspect the equipment and compound and comment on any issues that may need to be addressed. They will also test the equipment. If flows are unavailable, then a suitable supply of potable water will be required.

What We Offer

We provide Mechanical and Electrical design, installation and snagging services for the following specifications.

We do not currently provide design for Scottish Water / Sewers for Scotland 7th edition, however,we may be able to provide guidance if required. 

  • Anglian Water (SFA 6)
    Appendix to Sewers for Adoption – 6th Edition Addendum To Pumping Stations
  • ICOSA Water (SFA 6)
    Icosa Water Supplementary Addendum to Sewers for Adoption 6th Edition Issue 1‐ June 2017
  • Northumbrian Water (SFA 6)
    Design Manual for two pump sewage pumping stations on separate sewers, Issue 5 June 2005
  • Severn Trent Services (SFA 7)
    Severn Trent Services UK Ltd Engineering Specification v.1.6 January 2014
  • Severn Trent Water (SFA 7) 
    DM0303-01A Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition Pumping Station Addendum v1.6
  • South West Water (SFA 6)
    South West Water Amendments & Requirements to Sewers for Adoption 6th Edition Issue 3 – Dated 1.08.08
  • Southern Water (SFA 7)
    Southern Water supplementary addendum to sewers for adoption 7th MED 4006 Southern water, technical specifications manual, mechanical and electrical specifications
  • Thames Water (SFA 6/7)
    Thames Water – Addendum to Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition July 2015, Sewers, Pumping Stations, & Products
  • United Utilities (SFA 7)
    Sewage Pumping Station Addendum Version 1.0 – October 2014
  • Veolia Water (SFA 7)
    Generic Sewers for adoption 7th edition.
  • Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (SFA 7)
    Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition Sewage Pumping Station Addendum February 2013 Document ID:
    MS166 version 2
  • Hafren Dyfrdwy Severn Dee (SFA 7)
    DM0303-01A-HD Sewers for Adoption 7th Edition Pumping Station Addendum – Hafren Dyfrdwy
  • Wessex Water (SFA 7)
    Wessex Water Pumping Station Addendum
  • Yorkshire Water (SFA 7)
    Developer Services – Standard Details for pump station design – February 2017
  • Generic SFA 6 & 7 Designs
  • Independent Water Networks (SFA6)
  • Type 1 & 2 pump stations
  • Septicity calcs & surge analysis