£4000 water leak bill


I have recently just had a water leak (pipe on my property my responsibility) this was brought to my attention by south west water as unusual water use. I myself was unaware as the pipe is underground and at the side of my property.

I have home serve cover who came out within days and repaired the pipe which is within the terms of south west waters policy of repairs to be complete within 30 days.

My problem is south west water have said my water bill for the period of the leak which I was unaware of is £4000.00 which I have to pay. Previous to this leak I had another leak many years ago which again was repaired as soon as I was aware. At that time I was given water relief by south west water so I didn't have to pay the massive bill.
This time they are saying I am not entitled to this relief as its already been used.

Just before home serve came to do the repair south west water recommended that the whole pipe should be repaired as its not the 1st time its leaked. When home serve arrived I asked them if the whole pipe needed to be replaced and they said no I only needed a small part of the pipe replaced which they did. I even asked the cost of replacing the whole pipe they said about £7000.00 by a private company as home serve would not cover this.

I had to advise south west water that the repair was complete and they wanted to discuss the £4000.00 bill and advised I have to pay it, they also mentioned I should have had the whole pipe replaced but I told them I was advised not required by home serve. So now they want me to pay a £4000.00 bill and £7000.00 to replace the whole pipe.
They then advised me that it will make it very difficult for them to help me will the bill as I did not get the whole pipe replaced.

someone will be calling me back to discuss this further, but in the mean time any advice will be much appreciated.

Many thanks


  • Is this a mains pipe passing through your property or the actual pipe that goes to your home?
  • Lorian
    Lorian Posts: 5,706 Forumite
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    Check if its covered (less any excess) on your home insurance policy.
  • Also consider South West Water's Code of Practice: https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/globalassets/documents/cop-domestic-leakage.pdf

    This does allow for a second allowance (but not third or beyond) at South West Water's discretion (page 7) in some circumstances.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,036 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    Also consider South West Water's Code of Practice: https://www.southwestwater.co.uk/globalassets/documents/cop-domestic-leakage.pdf

    This does allow for a second allowance (but not third or beyond) at South West Water's discretion (page 7) in some circumstances.

    However it does state that the customer should have been checking for leaks; and it appears he hasn't been checking. That said nothing lost by trying.
    Subsequent leaks
    If you have a second leak after weve granted you a leak allowance,we may grant you a further leak allowance; however this will be at our discretion. To qualify you'll
    need to explain how you've been checking for leakage regularly and show that you spotted the leak as early as you could and had it repaired quickly.

    I hope the £4,000 bill is for water only and not sewerage.
  • footyguy
    footyguy Posts: 4,157 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post

    £4000 worth of water is almost an olympic sized swimming pool of water that has escaped.

    Not sure how anyone can not see that amount of water escaping in less than 6 months.

    Keep wearing your wellies! :cool:

    Good luck!
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,085 Forumite
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    £7000 to replace a mains water pipe? How long is your drive? I had mine replaced about 7 years ago and it was £30 a metre + £150 point of entry. They used a hydraulic boring device so minimum disruption. It cost me about £1500 in total.
  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,606 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic First Post
    Ever since I had a water leak I check my meter at least monthly. In fact it's only becaues I checked the meter fairly regularly before hand that I discovered that I had a leak before it did any damage.

    My supplier, Anglian Water, will give an allowance for a leak if it's repaired within 30 days but only for the first occurance, so if it happens again then it's down to you.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • I had a new connection 3yrs ago, 85mtrs long and along two public footpaths and traversed one before entering the property. Yorkshire Water wanted £8.5K! I priced around independent ground works businesses and in the end I found a sole trader doing ground works. He quoted £1K to £1.5K and Yorkshire Water wanted £340 to make the final connection.

    In the end the total came to just under £1.5K.

    The other problem I had was that YW wanted to move my water meter out of my kitchen to where they made the new connection the water main in the nearby road. I refused and had to dig my heals in and after 4 weeks of talks they gave in.

    With everything turned off can you hear a water leak? take a screwdriver, place the handle onto your ear and the other end onto a copper pipe or tap. Can you hear a hiss like sound?

    You could buy a water pressure gauge for £10 to £30 that will fit onto say an outside tap. Record the pressure. Turn off / close one of the stop valves. Don't run off any water for the hour or more and re read the gauge. Has the pressure dropped?

    Is the troublesome pipe wholly within the boundary of your property? If it isn't then your supplier may be wholly or proportionately responsible for the replacement / repair too.
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