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I want to know about leaks


How can I report a water leak?

Thanks for being a leak detective! You can report the leak using our online form.

If you believe the leak is an emergency, then please call us. An emergency could be if you have no access to water, or if there is an excessive amount of water leaking.

You can find out more about the process and about how we fix leaks here.


Who is responsible for leaks?

Leaks inside your property or on private land

If the leak is within your home or your property boundary, then you or your Landlord are responsible for this leak.
If you’re on a shared supply, then the responsibility may be shared. If you’re a homeowner, you should contact a plumber or your insurer, if you have a home protection policy. If you’re a tenant, you should contact your Landlord or their managing agent.
We’re working with HomeServe, one of the UK's leading home assistance providers. With cover through HomeServe for your home’s pipes, drains, toilets and tanks, you can be confident that plumbing and drainage problems won’t stop you in your tracks.

Leaks from the mains or public highway

We only deal with the fresh stuff. So, as long as the leak is of fresh water, and if it’s on a public highway or footpath, then we are usually responsible. If you spot one of these leaks, it’s important that you let us know – use our report a leak form.

Drainage emergencies

Unfortunately, we’re not able to help with drainage emergencies. Find out who is responsible for Drainage emergencies in your area.

Supply pipe leaks

We have a helpful leaflet covering supply pipe leaks.

In most cases, the pipework on your property running from the stopcock in the pavement to your internal stopcock, known as the supply pipe, is your responsibility and although we have no legal obligation to maintain it in most cases we will do the following:
  • If we think you have a leak on your supply pipe, we will visit your home to make an initial inspection which is free of charge. We may be able to advise you on the location and route of your pipe but we cannot guarantee to do so.
  • If a leak is confirmed we will give you a written report of our findings and we will set out the next steps.
  • Where the pipe is likely to be in good condition and we believe there is a good chance of locating and making a repair (we will not dig under any structure), we will make a single excavation to try and find the leak and then repair it. We will not make multiple repairs except as an emergency patch. This service is free of charge but this is at our discretion and is subject to terms and conditions available on request. If we do this and if the pipe is confirmed to be in good condition, you may qualify for a second free repair, subject to the same conditions as above.
  • If we cannot offer a free repair, or if you choose to replace the pipe instead of repair it, we will contribute towards a replacement. This will be explained in the written report that we give you.

In all cases where we excavate we will refill the hole and make it safe but we will not reinstate to match the existing finish.

Please note: We will do what we can to help but we do not guarantee to carry out any investigations nor to fix leaks on customer's property. Find out more

We have more information about leaks you may find useful.


What is a Waste of Water notice?

As part of our day-to-day leakage detection operations, we sometimes find leaks on pipework that is not a part of our network. If we detect a leak on privately owned pipework we have a duty to report it to whoever is responsible. If we have sent you a Waste of Water Notice, it means we have detected a leak which is not our responsibility.

Find out more about supply pipe leaks and pipework responsibilities

Why have you sent the notice to me?

We will always try to contact the owners of the pipework either directly through one of our community teams or our Customer Service Team will make contact. If we can't make contact with the owners in this way, we’ll send a leakage notification letter.

If you’ve received a leakage notice or Waste Water notice from us, it’s because we believe you are responsible for the leaking pipework. We expect that the responsible person or company will make arrangements to get the leak repaired. However, if the leak is not repaired, we may serve a legal notice under section 75 of the Water Industry Act 1991.

If you believe you’re not responsible for repairing the leak, for example, if you’re a tenant who is not responsible for repairs, please contact us. We’d be grateful if you can provide details of who is responsible for repairs, for example, your landlord, council or managing agent.


What happens if you discover a leak when you install my meter?

We follow a Code of Practice for leaks that occur on the supply pipe. This is usually the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain. Under our Code of Practice, if we find a leak on the supply pipe during the fitting of the meter or after then we may offer to repair the leak, free of charge. Any leaks found to occur under the property itself are not included.

Depending on the circumstance, we may offer to fix simple internal leaks such as dripping taps and leaking dual flush toilets, at our discretion. Any repair has a defects liability period of one year. Please note, the defect liability period covers the work done and does not guarantee a leak free supply should a leak occur from elsewhere.

Each customer can claim one single free repair for a maximum period of three months after the meter installation. If we’re aware of a leak prior to a meter installation as part of our Water Metering Programme, a free repair will not be offered.


I have a high metered bill

This is usually down to high usage of water. There are a few simple things you can do to lower your bill:

  • Saving water: Keep an eye on your water use, we have lots of water saving tips, and you can even book a water home visit
  • Direct Debit: You can set up monthly payments online on MyAccount to spread the cost of your bill. The easiest way to pay and once it’s set up, we’ll take care of the rest.

Understanding your bill

We have lots of advice and suggestions to help you understand your measured bill and to investigate possible leaks. You can also find out about how leakage might affect your bill

Other reasons for high water usage

Although increased usage is currently the most common, there are some other reasons for high usage that may affect your bill:

  • Internal plumbing problems created by dripping taps, washing machine flooding, overflow or ballcock problems in toilet cisterns or storage tanks
  • A leak on your private supply pipe
  • Building work and redecoration or a new lawn being laid leading to a higher than normal use of water
  • The number of occupants at the property has gone up since the previous bill (e.g. a baby or a new pet)

If you find that there is a leak on your side of the meter, you may be entitled to a one-off allowance against the cost of lost water.

In rare cases, particularly with older properties where there has been a change in the use of the property, such as a conversion of a house to flats, there may be a joint or shared water supply. So rather than indicating a possible leak or increased usage, the meter could be recording water being drawn off the mains by a neighbour. 

If you are responsible for the maintenance of the water supply to your property, we recommend you consider protecting your home from unexpected water related emergencies with a range of cover brought to you by HomeServe Membership Ltd. Find out more about HomeServe

Loggers

If you’ve carried out all of the checks detailed here , and you’re still concerned that you’re using more water than usual, it is possible to request a logger. The logger will give you a more detailed picture of your water use. There is a charge for this service, and there are limits to the information a logger can give you. Please contact us first of all, and our leakage team will carry out investigations to check if a logger is appropriate.


Help with intermittent leaks

If you’ve been unable to find a free-flowing leak, or you’re worried that an appliance is malfunctioning, you may have an intermittent problem that uses water but not continually. Toilets are unfortunately very prone to leaking intermittently, and they can use a lot of water without you realising. Here are some tips on preventing intermittent leaks:

  • Consider getting your appliances checked or serviced.
  • Check your toilet for signs of water draining into the pan long after flushing
  • Take more regular readings and check if there is an unusual usage during the times where nobody is at home using the supply.

Help with toilet leaks

Toilet leaks can be very costly, and can be difficult to find unless you know what you’re looking for.
Check this yourself by placing toilet roll on the back of the toilet pan and checking for water. If your toilet has not been used recently then the paper should be dry. If the paper is wet, then it’s likely that your toilet is leaking water when it shouldn’t be.


I have a leak on my external stop tap

If you have a leak on your external stop tap, please contact us.

Please be aware that if the stop tap is outside in the ground, the chamber may fill with water when the weather has been very wet. If this is what is happening, the water will not usually flow out of the chamber and the chamber will eventually empty once the weather is drier.

This is usually not a leak but just groundwater collecting there and is something we cannot control.

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