Water leak responsibility - help!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
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Rhino666Rhino666 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
Unfortunately I have a problem - losing about one litre of water a minute. The leak is somewhere in the service pipe which runs from the water meter, 80 yards down a council owned track, up my drive and into my garage. There is also a further section that goes from garage to house. I have standard Saga insurance that does not cover the service pipes, so the issue of dealing with this is between me and the water board.

My problem is South West Water. They will not help at all with leak detection/repair or compensate more than £250 if pipe replacement is required. The pipe appears to be alkathene installed back in 1970 when the house was built. I am worried that this could cost me in excess of £10k to sort out which seems wrong to maintain a water supply to a residential property. I am still sore after having to personally replace a 25 metre section of pitch fibre pipe on my property, so hoping this will not be totally my problem.


Does anyone have any experience of this and/or advice.


Thanks
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Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    I suggest you contact The Consumer Council for Water for advice


    http://www.ccwater.org.uk/
  • Rhino666Rhino666 Forumite
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    Thanks for the advice - this matter is starting to get a little less of a problem after todays events.


    I commissioned an expert to find the leak and it is within 4 feet of the meter, around 80 metres from my house at the junction of a public footpath and a council track, both of which are adopted by Devon County Council. I spoke to DCC today and they say that only South West Water are allowed to carry out work. With a bit of luck that will mean that SWW have to be responsible for the section of service pipe that runs under council adopted tracks/paths from the meter to my property boundary. This would make a lot of sense but also call into question the advice received from SWW. In my opinion they should have got involved from the start and been thankful that I have reported this leak at such an early stage.


    If anyone knows any different please give me the heads up.
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  • zaaxzaax Forumite
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    Has something heavy been down the track to damage the pipe?


    Pipe are normally only about 600mm down and if not reinforced a heavy vehicle (HGV) could damage the pipe
    Do you want your money back, and a bit more, search for 'money claim online' - They don't like it up 'em Captain Mainwaring
  • edited 11 December 2015 at 11:12PM
    Rhino666Rhino666 Forumite
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    edited 11 December 2015 at 11:12PM
    zaax wrote: »
    Has something heavy been down the track to damage the pipe?


    Pipe are normally only about 600mm down and if not reinforced a heavy vehicle (HGV) could damage the pipe


    Yes, the pipe has to be much less than 600mm down as the meter communication pipe which is within a foot of the problem area is approximately 250mm under the surface. The Parish Council did major works, remaking and tarmacking the footpath that runs at a right angle to the lane recently. This would have involved tracked vehicles and dumper trucks etc moving over the footpath threshold covering the pipe. We think this would have put pressure on aggregate above the pipe and damaged the alkathene. Probably impossible to prove but seems likely a combination of the heavy traffic where only foot traffic/cycles normally pass and shallow pipe. The leak consultant has the two leak areas within four feet of the meter, so the first part of the pipe on the left side of the footpath entry where I would think it is at its shallowest.


    SWW are supposed to attend by next Wednesday at the latest. Looking forward to getting this sorted and seeing the problem once the small area of concern has been excavated. You make a good point regarding pipe reinforcement. The pipe has probably been down for 45 years since the house was built - I doubt there is reinforcing as the footpath looks like a much more recent addition.
    PLEASE DO NOT STEAL
    The Government will not tolerate competition

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