LEAKING SUPPLY PIPE? YOUR GUIDE TO WATER SUPPLY LEAKS. You were out when we visited today.

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1 LEAKING SUPPLY PIPE? YOUR GUIDE TO WATER SUPPLY LEAKS You were out when we visited today. Check the back of this leaflet to find out why we called and what happens next. NW FSM3-1/15

2 INTRODUCTION Helping you to deal with leaking pipes is one of our top priorities. Inside this leaflet we will explain our and your responsibilities and provide information about what will happen now and when you might be entitled to an allowance for water lost through the leak. WHO S RESPONSIBLE FOR REPAIRING LEAKS? We are responsible for repairing leaks on the water pipes up to the point where the street and your property boundary meet. You (or your landlord) own all of the water pipes on your property and are responsible for repairing or replacing these if a leak occurs. This includes underground pipes in your garden or driveway as well as the pipes inside your home. Records showing the position of any private supply pipes in your property boundary are not held by Northumbrian Water. The two diagrams below have been set out to show examples of property boundaries and responsibilities.. Owner s responsibility Northumbrian Water s responsibility A Supply pipe Stopcock Diagram A shows which pipes belong to us and which to you. Street boundary A s responsibility Owner of properties B s responsibility A+B share responsibility Northumbrian Water s responsibility B Boundary of premises Stopcock Street boundary y Communication pipe Diagram B shows an example of a shared supply. 2 Your guide to water supply leaks

3 OUR FREE LEAK REPAIR SERVICE We know how worrying leaks can be and we want to help you by carrying out repairs under our free leak repair scheme, although we are not responsible for repairing your private supply pipe. We can do this if: The leak is on your external supply pipe and we are able to locate it. We have not carried out a free leak repair in the last three years. Your supply pipe is 25mm in diameter or less (around the size of a 2 coin). This applies to most domestic supplies. Your supply pipe is no more than 50 metres long, measured from the external stop tap in the highway up to and including the pipework entering your property. Most household supply pipes are shorter than this. The leak on your supply pipe is not under or within half a metre of any buildings or structures such as sheds, patios, decking etc. We find a leak less than 1.35 metres down. If we need to dig deeper to find the leak we will talk to you first, as we will charge for this extra work. Structural support is not needed before or during the excavation and repair of the leak. The position of drains or other utility services pipes and cables do not stop us from digging down to repair the leak. If you do not meet any of the above criteria, we will be happy to discuss the options available to you and offer advice if you need it. Northumbrian Water 3

4 OUR LEAK DETECTION SERVICE Although leaks on private supply pipes are your responsibility we will be happy to offer help and advice at any time. We also provide our domestic customers with a free leak detection service. This service includes one visit by an experienced leak team. With your permission, we will carry out up to four hours of leak detection work on your property during this visit. If needed we will use specialist equipment to help us to investigate your leak. Your supply pipe may need to be renewed if we are unable to find the exact location of the leak or the condition of the pipe is very poor. Once we have completed our search and gathered information we will discuss the available options in more detail. 4 Your guide to water supply leaks

5 WHAT WE LL DO IF WE FIND A LEAK If the leak meets the criteria for a free repair, we will discuss the work we will need to do to deal with the leak. Once we have your permission to go ahead, we will plan the work and carry out the repair. We will not charge you for any water lost while you are waiting for the repair to be carried out. Our section on leakage allowances gives more information about how we will deal with this. To repair your leak, we may need to turn your water off for up to four hours. If we do, we will let you know. Our crew will dig down to the leak and make the necessary repairs. Once we turn your water back on, we will check with you to make sure your water supply is running normally. If you are not home you may need to run your cold water kitchen tap gently for up to 30 minutes to clear any air or particles that might be trapped in the pipe to return your water supply to normal. Once we have repaired the leak, we will relay the turf, flagstones or block paving stones that we lifted. In black tarmac drives and footpaths, we will re-tarmac the area where we have worked. While we try to match the surrounding tarmac, you may notice a slight variation in colour and texture because it is newer. There are some surfaces that we cannot match, such as patterned, concrete or coloured tarmac drives and footpaths. In these situations you can choose to have the hole re-filled with loose stones or tarmac so it is safe and level with the surrounding area. This will make it easier for your own contractor to apply a final matching surface should you decide to lay one at your own cost. The success of the repair will depend on the age and condition of your private supply pipe and we will only offer one free repair in any three year period. If we find that your supply pipe is in a poor condition we will talk to you about the increased risk of further leaks and explain the options available to you. If you decide to pay to have your private supply pipe completely renewed, and we have not carried out a free repair in the last three years, we can carry out the work at a subsidised rate or you can choose to employ your own plumber. We will be happy to provide a fixed price quotation for you to consider. This will include an allowance which is equal to the cost of us carrying out a private supply pipe repair. Northumbrian Water 5

6 YOU DO NOT QUALIFY FOR A REPAIR UNDER OUR FREE REPAIR POLICY If we have advised you that the leak on your private supply pipe is not covered under our free repair policy, you will need to arrange the repair yourself. You may be covered for the repairs under your household insurance policy so please check this first. If you are a tenant, contact your landlord who may be responsible for the repairs. For a list of approved plumbers in your area who can repair your leak or for more information about the Water Safe Scheme please visit or telephone We will of course be happy to offer more advice if you need it. The date that you must complete the necessary repairs by will be set out in a Waste Water Notice. We will issue this to you if the leak is not repaired within 10 working days of the date on the back of this leaflet. If you do not repair the leak within the required timescale, we may carry out the repair or renewal and charge any reasonable costs. If there is water running to waste or causing damage, we can carry out a repair or even turn the water off in extreme circumstances. 6 Your guide to water supply leaks

7 LEAKAGE ALLOWANCES ON YOUR METERED BILL If we repaired your leak under our free repair policy, we will give you a full allowance for the lost water. The timescale that you need to complete the repair by will be set out in our Waste Water Notice if the leak is not covered by our free repair policy. An allowance will only be given if you repair the leak within this timescale. If we can identify a change in consumption as a result of a leak, we will backdate the allowance to this point. Allowances will be made for the meter reading cycle period plus one month. We will base the allowance on the typical user for a similar property if we don t have a record of how much water you have used in the past, for example you haven t been on a water meter for long. After the leak has been repaired, you may find that your actual usage is significantly different from our estimate. If it is lower, we may give a further allowance so please call us on and one of our customer advisors will be happy to help you. We will usually give a leak allowance if: You are a domestic customer. You have not already received a leak allowance at your current property for another leak. The leak is external. The leak is not caused by your negligence or faulty plumbing. You arranged the timely repair of the leak once you knew about it. For more information about leak allowances please visit our website at or telephone HOW TO PREVENT LEAKS More leaks happen during the cold winter months than any other time of the year. You can take some simple steps to reduce the risk of leaks caused by frozen pipes such as insulating water tanks and lagging pipes, valves and fittings and fixing dripping taps. For more helpful advice on protecting the water pipes in your home during cold weather please visit our website at can also contact our Customer Centre on to request our Wrap up for winter leaflet. WRAP UP FOR WINTER Keep your water pipes cosy to guard against the misery of burst pipes this winter. Follow our simple steps to help you protect your Scan me for more information Northumbrian Water 7

8 YOUR REFERENCE NUMBER: We all know how important it is to look after our environment. This is why it is important to find and fix leaks. We have been working in your area today the pipes supplying your property. and have checked We have found a leak. The leak is on one of our pipes which is located on your property. This repair will affect you and it is important that you contact us on so we can talk to you about this. We may have found a leak on your private pipework which could be causing problems on your property. It is important that you contact us on to arrange an appointment so we can look into this further. If a leak is found we may be able to carry out a free repair. We have found a leak on your private pipework which we are unable to repair. You will need to arrange for this to be fixed. Please refer to page 6 for information on what you need to do. Additional information Thank you If you would like to contact us, our contact details are: For help and advice about an ongoing leak: To report a leak outside: For help and advice about your bill: us through our website at: To help you to understand what happens now and to answer any questions you might have please read the information contained inside this leaflet. 8 Your guide to water supply leaks

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