Leaks

Tackling the amount of water lost through leaks is a priority for us, and we know how important it is to our customers.

We have a specialist team working to meet the demanding targets set by the water industry regulator Ofwat.

Our leakage rate is one of the lowest in the UK Water Industry, but we need your help to maintain this record.  Please help us by reporting any leak, or suspected leak, using the online leak report form.

Spotting a leak is often easy where water is visible, but there are some other signs:

  • Unusually green patches of grass
  • Lower than normal water pressure
  • High water meter readings

The sections below give more detail on the sections of pipework that the property owner is responsible for, and our scheme to assist homeowners with repairs to their pipes.


Leaks - The Facts

Find out more about how we find and fix leaks by downloading our factsheet.


We have a large network of water mains distributing water from our treatment works to the areas where people live and work. Each property is connected to a water main by a service pipe. The ownership of this pipe is divided between us and the property owner.

In most cases we are responsible for the section between the water main and the boundary of the street in which the water main is located. This section is called the communication pipe. There is usually an underground stopcock near this boundary, and there may also be a meter installed here. Both the stopcock and meter are our responsibility.

You, or your landlord, are legally responsible for the section of the service pipe from the boundary of the street to your property. This is called the supply pipe. If there is a leak on the supply pipe you are responsible for getting it repaired, although we may be able to help through our Leak detection and repair scheme.

The diagram below shows a typical service pipe layout, with the pipe supplying a single house. If you share your supply pipe with neighbours then you also share responsiblity for fixing leaks with them. If you are unsure about which sections of pipework are your responsibility, please contact us for further advice.

A diagram showing who is responsibile for the underground supply pipe.

We offer a special leak detection and repair scheme for household customers. We will repair your supply pipe free of charge, subject to certain conditions. A summary of the conditions is shown below. For full details, read our leaflet 'Finding and Fixing Leaks' (PDF format).

  • The property supplied must be your only residence, used solely for domestic purposes
  • Council and housing association properties, rented properties owned by commercial organisations and commercial and business properties are excluded
  • Our contribution to repair costs is limited to a maximum of four man hours. We will let you know as soon as possible if the leak is unlikely to be repaired within this limit. Additional man hours are charged at £57.30* plus VAT.
  • If we think the pipe should be replaced rather than repaired, we will offer to renew it at a cost of £350* plus VAT for pipes up to 10 metres in length, with each extra metre costing £29.26* plus VAT. Properties with shared supply pipes are not entitled to this option.
  • The scheme is for underground pipework only, up to the property building line.
  • We will fill in excavations with excavated material, leaving the site safe and tidy, but will not carry out any final reinstatement. This is your responsibility.
  • The scheme is available on one occasion per property.

If you are concerned your underground pipework may be leaking, please contact our Customer Services team by completing an enquiry form or by phoning 01737 772000. We will send a member of our team to investigate. If there is a leak, you will be given details of how to get it fixed. If we are able to offer a repair under the above scheme, provided there are no exceptional circumstances the repair will normally be completed within 5 working days.

*Costs are valid from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

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