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Service Pipes - Who's Responsible For What?

Water is a valuable resource and leaks from underground water pipes can waste large amounts of water and money and they could damage your property. Underground water pipes are not just water company's responsibility; home owners are responsible for some, or all, of the pipework below ground that connects their property to the water supply network. The water supply pipe for which you are responsible is probably one of the most important assets of your property. Experience has shown us that when purchasing a house, customers are not always aware that they are responsible for the maintenance and replacement of this pipework.

This only becomes apparent when it becomes defective. It is important to remember that as the supply pipe of a property is underground, this is not easily maintained. In some cases it becomes problematic due to wear and tear and subsequent deterioration of the pipework over a lengthy period of time.

Like most items that you would buy for use within the home, your water supply pipe will only have an average life span and will begin to cause problems if it has never been maintained or replaced. If you are reading this, it's probably because you already have a problem with your water supply pipe, or think you may have one. It is important to note that if your water supply pipe is old, we would recommend that you consider replacing it, which is a long term solution to potential problems.

Your water company owns and maintains the water mains and services in the street and in the footpath up to the boundary of your property, subject to some minor or rare exceptions. All property owners are responsible, by law, for maintaining the underground water service pipe that runs from the boundary of their property into the home. In other words, if there is a leak on this part of the service pipe within the property boundary, the responsibility for making a repair falls to the property owner.

In most cases, the part of the water supply pipe taking water from the water company stop tap into the house belongs to the home owner. It is property owner's responsibility to keep the water supply pipe in good order. New and modern houses have a independent water supply pipe going into the property, however older properties may have a shared water supply pipe for more than one house where the responsibility is then shared.

House A is a new house with an independant water supply pipe.

Houses B and C have a shared water supply pipe and have a joint responsibility for maintenance for any part of the water supply pipe that is shared

Houses D, E and F are terraced houses with a shared water supply pipe. They all share responsibility for maintenance of the water supply pipe.

With age, reaction to certain soil types and ground movement your existing pipe work may leak under pressure. In time these leaks may surface in an area on your property. EPS offers a service to find and fix or relay underground water supply pipes using efficient and cost effective methods. Don't delay contact eps today

How do Water Companies approach leaking customer supply pipes?

Customer Leakage policies differ across Water Companies. We recommend you refer to your company's code of practice on leakage to see exactly what they offer. This should be published on their website or you can ask them to mail you a copy. Most companies offer a free phone "leakline number". This can be found on your water bill or in the telephone directory.

If you have a leak on your external pipe work and do not make arrangements to repair it, the water company can issue you with a Waste Water Notice under Section 75 of the Water Industry Act 1991. If the leak is not repaired within a specified time, the water company can legally enforce a repair, send in a contractor to undertake the work and charge the householder for all costs.

So don't delay... contact us today.

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