Advice please on water pipe repairs on my property

Hi everyone,
I've received a letter from Severn Trent Water saying they're sending someone round to fix a leak on my property and I'll be responsible for the cost! I understand that this may well be the law, but... things are complicated by the fact that there are 4 of us in a row of terraces that share a supply. I'm the 3rd one down the shared pipe. I don't want to pay for a costly and disruptive repair if it might not even be on my property!
Does anyone have experience of this sort of thing, or know where to get advice? I will, of course, contact the water company but they have a vested interest in getting my garden dug up quickly and with not much regard for the cost, so I'd rather get some impartial advice.
Thanks everyone in advance,


  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    There have been multiple posts on this over the years and the response of water companies has varied; from pedantic to generous. 

    The 'official' position is that the four properties on a shared supply should share the costs. see:  Responsibility for pipes and sewers - Ofwat . However if, say, you caused the leak(for example by digging in your garden)  then it is understandable if the other properties are reluctant to pay.

    If there is some doubt on the location of the leak, I assume they are coming to your garden because that is where the water is collecting??

    If the leak is not your fault then you should get the water company to either bill the culprit, or bill all four properties; albeit they will try to just bill one account holder.

    It is possible that they might make a goodwill contribution.

    If all else fails, contact the 'Consumer Council for Water' for their advice.
  • Hi Cardew, thanks for the reply, v helpful.

    Funnily enough, no, there is no water gathering in my garden! Hence my reluctance to have anyone start digging holes, looking for a problem that might not even be there!

    I'll definitely look up the 'Consumer Council for Water'. 

    Thanks again,

  • Usually where there is a shared responsibility for repairs - such as an unadopted road - this is covered in the Title Deeds for the Property. 

    It doesn't follow that just because water is not present on the surface that the pipe etc is intact. Water companies can use a variety of detection tools including acoustic investigation which detects small vibrations in the ground. In my experience, water companies don't dig a hole for the fun of it: there is usually some science behind it.

    If it is of any comfort, we have a contractor on site at the moment who is having to make some significant changes to our surface drainage system at the behest of Welsh Water. Despite the fact that they are using a small digger to lift to access pipes and drainage gunnels, the surface damage is minimal.
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