Water Woes

Hi guys,

I'm hoping that someone is able to point us in the right direction, offer some advice, anything really!

We have no water.

Thames Water were contacted 3 weeks ago, they sent a man out (2 weeks later) to confirm that we have a leak underneath our house. At that time we had a dribble of water, so it wasn't a "no water" issue (although our tap is upstairs, and there isn't enough pressure currently to get the water up there, so we were using the outside tap). It was enough to get by.

They said that the earliest they can fix it is in nearly 5 weeks time (as of today), again, at the time, we could just about get by (filling a bucket to flush the toilet (took 15 minutes), we adapted), so this was fine. We now have no water, as the leak is busy doing it's thing and getting worse.

The date is ages away, I like to be pro-active. I thought that we would save them some time, and maybe they could come sooner. It's seemingly very difficult to find a plumber who will do the meter connection, none of them have the 'license' to dig up the path to do the connection to the meter. We had a new water pipe laid (conforming to standards, buried at correct depth, encased, etc...), and it is all ready to go. We now just need Thames Water to dig a small section of the path, plug in the path, and fill in the hole - much less work than making a trench through our driveway - much less cost for them, as it was a freebie anyway, and there is now a lot less work for them to do.

A few days later, we have no water. Not even through the outside tap.

We have been turning it off at the meter, and turning it on when required to fill containers, as I'm worried about it damaging our house - the leak is visible through the concrete floor, and the outside bricks. Having spent several hours on the phone to them this afternoon, and using up all of my patience up at the same time, they have decided that they won't budge on the date.

I don't know the legalities, but I had heard people at work say that Thames have a legal duty to supply their customers with water. I said this to them on the phone, and they replied that they are supplying me with water. Technically correct, but water being supplied into my foundations is not very useful, and probably not potable.

I'm at a loss what to do. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Comments

  • deanos
    deanos Posts: 11,219
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    depends on the street but you cant just dig up the road like you used to do, is your road traffic sensitive ? as the water co needs to apply for a opening notice to do the works and the council tell them when they can do the work , they can do emergency repairs and apply for it afterwards but unsure if yours comes under emergency

    can you tap into the old supply before it enters the property as a temporary solution ?
  • Trunk_z
    Trunk_z Posts: 94 Forumite
    Thanks for the reply.

    Digging it up is tempting, and would certainly be quicker.

    It's not actually in the road, it's on the path, meter or so away from the road.

    I had thought about tapping into the old supply - dug a 1.5m hole in my driveway, but couldn't find it! Found everything else, but no water.
    Have a pile of dirt now - never fits back into the hole you take it out of, does it.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Ring the Consumer Council for Water for advice. https://www.ccwater.org.uk/
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    You don't need a licence to dig up your own path. You are responsible for the pipework under your own property: TW are responsible for everything up to the boundary, which is where the meter is normally installed. They will normally do a one off leak repair FOC, but unless this is classified as an emergency then you are in a queue with everyone else.
    Since you appear to have replaced the pipe yourself, and simply require them to make the connection to the meter, and can turn off the supply, then i doubt that they'll prioritise your case.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • deanos
    deanos Posts: 11,219
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    Trunk_z wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply.

    Digging it up is tempting, and would certainly be quicker.

    It's not actually in the road, it's on the path, meter or so away from the road.

    I had thought about tapping into the old supply - dug a 1.5m hole in my driveway, but couldn't find it! Found everything else, but no water.
    Have a pile of dirt now - never fits back into the hole you take it out of, does it.

    even if its in the path it does not matter, it will require a opening notice from the council
  • Trunk_z
    Trunk_z Posts: 94 Forumite
    Back again.

    It's a public path unfortunately, not mine. They don't repair leaks per-say, they replace the whole run. Well, they replace their part and then I'm responsible for the rest of it - which makes sense. I've done my bit.

    I managed to get the contractors that TW use to come out and have a look, they spent an hour themselves on the phone to TW asking for permission to do it (they were physically on my property), but alas, TW wouldn't let them proceed.

    I've contacted the Consumer Council for Water, but I'm awaiting for my turn in that queue. They agreed that TW are being ridiculous.

    Remembered I have a dehumidifier, so have been leaving that running to collect water from the air. Using it to flush the toilet, it's almost like a treat at the end of the day.
  • deanos
    deanos Posts: 11,219
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    Like i said they cant just dig up the path, they need a opening notice from the council unless its classed as a emergency they they can apply afterwards

    Good luck hope it gets sorted
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