Help and advice

Dealing with leaks

Dealing with leaks

Helping you to repair leaks is one of our top priorities. We know how worrying leaks can be and we want to give you the best advice to look after your water pipes and help you to find and fix leaks as quickly as possible.

Who′s responsible for repairing leaks?

What we’re responsible for
We own the water pipes in the public highway. This includes the pipe connecting the water main in the street to the stopcock or meter outside your property. We are responsible for maintaining and repairing leaks on these pipes to the point where the street and your property boundary meet.

What you’re responsible for
If you are the homeowner, you (or your landlord) own all of the water pipes on your property and are responsible for repairing or replacing these if needed. This includes underground pipes in your garden or driveway as well as the pipes inside your home. If you share the responsibility of your water supply pipe with your neighbours the responsibility and costs are shared between the properties.

The short video below explains how to locate and test for leaks between your meter and internal stop tap.

Leaks in the street

If you spot a leak in the street, check if it has been reported on our Community Portal. You can use this Portal to report a leak, if you can′t see it on our Leak map.

If there’s a lot of water escaping we always try to get out as soon as we can. We know it can sometimes look as if it's been a while before we've been able to fix the leak but we prioritise them based on how serious they are.

After you have reported a leak we visit the site of the leak to locate and identify the problem. If a leak is found we mark it in blue for repair. If the leak is within a customer’s property boundary we will make an appointment if necessary.

How do I identify if I have a leak on my private supply pipe?

Things to look for:

• Wet or damp patches.
• An increase in your water usage (metered customers).
• Noise on your pipes.
• A reduction in water pressure.

How do we prioritise repairs?

We look at the following:

• Is it causing a loss of supply?
• Is it causing an imminent risk to property?
• Is it in a dangerous location i.e. middle of carriageway causing risk to road users?

If the answer to any of the above is yes then the leak would be repaired the same day. If not we work with the land owner (customer or council) to arrange a suitable time for repair.

How long does reinstatement take?

• Up to 20 working days for private ground.
• Up to 7 working days for public highway (the pavement or road).

Other things we think about before carrying out a repair

• Traffic management.
• Permission to dig from the local authority.
• The location of leak – would schools or hospitals be affected if we have to shut the water supply off?
• Time of year (council embargo).

How to test for leaks if you′re a metered customer

1) Turn off your water at the internal stop tap (normally located under the kitchen sink).

2) Locate your water meter which is normally located in the footpath outside the front of your property.

3) Open the meter chamber and remove the polystyrene protection.

4) If the small meter dial is moving while the water is turned off you may have a leak.

5) Take regular readings so that you get to know the amount of water you use. This can also help identify early on if you have a leak.

The short video below explains how to locate and test for leaks between your meter and internal stop tap.

Downloadable content

  1. thumb

    Dealing with leaks

    Our code of practice on dealing with leaks.


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    Supporting you to fix your leak

    Your guide to water supply pipe leaks.


Community portal

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Our community portal is your voice in the work we do to improve your water and sewage services. Find out more

How to get it fixed

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Helping you to repair leaks is one of our top priorities. Find out more

Call 0800 393084 to report urgent leaks

or click on the link below to

Order a free Leaky Loo test kit


You can request a free test kit so you can check your toilet for a leak. Complete our short form to request a free pack and we will post it to you within 4 working days. Find out more



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