Can I build over a drain cover/manhole cover? – Questions answered

Can I build over a drain cover/manhole cover?

We get this question a lot, extensions and DIY projects can take you close to or over existing access covers.

First things first what does the manhole cover allow access to? It must be there for a reason.

Most drains are used by more than one property. When building an extension building regulations will need to be met in regards to drain access/manhole covers.

Access is required by the water company they have a legal right to access the area, if this is under your new extension floor then this can be a messy and expensive problem that you as the householder will have to rectify with your own money once the issue has been sorted.

A build over agreement with your water company may be a good way to go, when doing work over or within 3 metres of a public sewer you need to be sure there is enough access to sewers or drains for future maintenance or repair.  Wate companies can remove any structures that block access to a public sewer if needed.


So the answer is No, what are the other options –

Can you relocate the manhole in question?

What about incorporating it into your finished floor?

If the manhole cover is in your garden and no structure is to be built over them there are more options, but it is still not advisable to just permanently cover over them.

Also remember that any renewal or creation of driveways must now be in permeable paving – this can also make accessing manhole covers easier.


Patios –

grassed areas –

Is it illegal to cover a drain cover?


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