Non aviation content. Play nice – No religion, no politics and no axe grinding please.
#1694419
I'm asking the collective wisdom of the forum for some advice.

I've got a bad water leak in my garden - coming up and forming puddles in the path. I've isolated my own water overnight and it appears to still get worse, so I'm pretty sure it's not my water.

A few years ago I trenched through the garden to install a ground source heat pump and found a bundle of black water pipes which I believe serve next door, and a farmers field next to that. Possibly even one other property beyond that. They run right through the middle of my garden.

I just reviewed a southern water search from when I bought the property and nothing is shown.

I'm wondering what the legality is here - should the pipes be there? Who's responsibility are they? If it's found my trenching work from 2015 that caused the leak does that change who's responsibility it is? I don't want to call in southern water until I know where I stand - I'd rather do the repair work myself and manage the costs than have them do it and then slap a bill on me if it's my 'fault'.

Thanks! :)
#1694422
With a leak that large it would not be long I think before those on the intended receiving end will notice a deficit of supply?

Must be a pretty big leak.
#1694424
It is this big....
Image

I've not almost certainly identified it's not my next-door neighbour. Their meter shows no signs of movement. A bunch of 4 meters are all clustered at a crossroads, pipes then cross my property (rather than going down the road for some reason). Recipients I think are cows. Literally, a trough in a field.
#1694426
Searches can be unreliable, though if they are modern PE pipes it would be unusual for them not to be indicated unless somebody replaced them privately. Also, all searches are not created equal.

That said, if it’s fresh water for next door(s) they PROB90 have an easement so you’ll need to talk to them and do it properly anyway.
#1694428
One thing I forgot to mention is that my property has been split up over the years. Its likely that all of these pipes were part of the same property when laid.

Would an easement not come up when I bought the property? I was certainly aware of one for mains electric running across the property, but not water.
#1694431
Best call the water board - they will find the exact point where the leak is ultrasonically. If none of your taps are turned on or a toilet cistern is not filling, put your ear to a cold water tap (nearest your shut off valve) and listen. You will hear a leak if it’s yours. I can hear a stuck ball valve on field drinking trough several fields away from the house. The water board come round from time to time with 4ft metal rod which they put to the shut off Toby and listen for leaks - it works. A “bundle “ of black pipeware seems odd though. I doubt that work you did four years ago will have caused the leak now - call the water board - then go and fix that bliddy gate !
Flyin'Dutch', Pete L liked this
#1694436
carlmeek wrote:One thing I forgot to mention is that my property has been split up over the years. Its likely that all of these pipes were part of the same property when laid.

Would an easement not come up when I bought the property? I was certainly aware of one for mains electric running across the property, but not water.

I think your first point is the most likely answer. I've seen that a lot where plots have been split, e.g. on farms where the split was initially for e.g. the son to live in the cottage so full segregation of services wasn't important, but later sold off to a third party.

As others have said a lot seems to come down to easements - but these may not be explicit, they might just be a generic statement, or might be 'prescriptive' which means it's been like that for 20 years or more therefore ok.

My own property has a generic easement for the former landowner of the neighbouring field to run services under my garden. Prior to me buying the house two houses were built on that field, but the deeds still refer to the generic rights of the previous land owner, and none of us actually know if he used them and what runs under my lawn or not.
#1694446
carlmeek wrote: Would an easement not come up when I bought the property?

Not always. The added complication is that you may have a public utility crossing your land and there is no argument to be had if it is since the statutory authority has an implied easement whether or not it is registered. The upside of this is that you also have a statutory right to connect to a public utility even if it is on somebody else's land.

First things first, I would ask the water authority themselves, not a lawyer, and find out if there is anything on their records. Hopefully there is, and it is their problem to come and fix it, unless it was your trenching work and then you'll have the battle about money that you were going to have anyway.
#1694456
Could it be a spring? Quite common around here and they come and go as the underground channel erodes a new route.

You make an assumption that the cluster of water-meters are directly connected to your cluster of pipes. This is very likely but not an infallible guess. If, indeed,one goes from the main to a more distant meter (or even could be an unmetered , illicit connection!- then it obviously won't register on any of "the cluster"

My house is elevated about 4 feet behind a stone retaining wall, stopcock is under the pavement. Meter installer wanted to dig a hole to install the meter adjacent to the tap.....I persuaded him to put it on the back wall of the house, where the rising main and stop tap emerge...Result! about 50 feet of lead pipe undisturbed and any leak in it will not be recorded on my meter..

Try divining rods....it really does work :shock: I was a total sceptic when a local builder said he was calling a diviner to track a pipe across a field......bent a couple of bits of welding-rod and had a go. they crossed over when I went over buried pipes.....and, yes, I tried tilting the "handles" outwards, so the horizontal bit flopped away....they went against gravity to cross over. I still don't understand it, but it's worth a try.
#1694467
Interesting replies, thanks.

Blue pipes - these have been isolated so are not the cause. That was obviously the first thing to do.

As for my gate - don't knock it! it's my own invention, a special pedestrian gate that can unfold on a hinge to be a full gate!!