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Removing/Replacing Private Shared Water Supply to Terraces

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by meditatinghamster, 23 May 2008.

  1. meditatinghamster

    meditatinghamster

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    Hi,
    I have tried to find out some info regarding private shared water supply and was hoping someone here could advise. I would be really grateful.

    Our property is an end terrace built in 1925 marked with an X in the diagram below



    As you can see from the diagram , the pipe (appears) to run from the street and along the middle of the space between the two houses, and then branches off with one of the water pipes running through our garden to supply water to four other houses along the terraced row. We were wanting to build a conservatory but don't want to build over the water pipe in case it ever needs to be accessed. We would ideally like to have our own water supply so that
    a) we know the pipes won't be lead, b) we are always guarenteed full pressure and c) so we know we only need to worry about our own supply if something goes wrong, and d) so we can ensure the supply is routed around the area where we would like to have the conservatory built.

    1) If we had our own water supply put in would we still be responsible for the old pipe supplying the other houses?
    2) Also, is there anything we could do to get the old water pipe out of our garden and pay for the water to supply the other side of the terraced row, i.e could we legally get it moved (even if we had to pay for it)?

    Yorkshire water don't know or care.
    Our solicitor didn't have a clue about the legalities of it all.

    Thanks you to anyone who can provide any answers to this.
     
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  3. andytheplumber

    andytheplumber

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    Phone the water board and tell them you want a seperate water supply. They should send you a form to fill in. Try this
     
  4. gasmick2

    gasmick2

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    I used to do a lot of renovation to terraced houses and the easiest way is to have your service brought in the front of the house from the pavement, then into the house into the gas meter cupboard thats usually in the front room, then it can go upstairs and under the floors to connect to your system , mind you , it will involve digging down to the exsisting main where it Tees off to your house so it can be cut out so as not to have any dead legs underground that will then become next doors separate service, its not a cheap job but its possible
    have a word with your neighbor perhaps he will be happy to pay towards it with you
     
  5. Agile

    Agile

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    Yes but none of that will remove the shared pipe crossing his back yard where he wants to build an extension!

    Short of paying for all the five houses to his right to have their own supplies from the street at about £5000 I think he would be better off just building a duct under the extension around the water pipe.
     
  6. meditatinghamster

    meditatinghamster

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    Thanks, fortunately they'll only charge £300ish so that should be an issue. Apparently offwat cap what they can charge.
     
  7. meditatinghamster

    meditatinghamster

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    Thanks, Its a bit of a ball ache really because I would be happy to pay for it to be rerouted via the other end terrace, but I don't think I would legally be able to force the issue. If I were able to have my own supply in, and not be responsible for the old pipe (but still have to grant access) I would probably be ok with that. I'm sure I can't be the only person who has ever wanted to get shared pipes out of my garden. If I could only find out what my legal rights/obligations would be in this respect. My solicitor didn't have a clue about the legal aspect so I'm at a bit of a loss.

    I could always get a new supply installed, cut them off, and see what their lawyers say (I joke of course! I would never do that). Maybe I need a conservatory on wheels so I can move it if necessary :D
     
  8. Agile

    Agile

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    Its a pity that Severn Trent dont seem to have heard of that and want to charge me about £500-£600 to bring a direct supply into my house.

    Do you have any written confirmation of that that you can you email me ?

    Tony
     
  9. meditatinghamster

    meditatinghamster

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    :( Sorry Tony, I misread the site

    http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/aptrix/ofwat/publish.nsf/Content/ConsIssue_RightsResp_connections_faq02

    looks like thats the maximum they can charge for the "infrastructure charge", not the actual supply of the pipe itself, and relates to new properties. Arse. I'd be willing to bet that Yorkshire Water will probably charge about the same as Trent.

    Again, apologies for not having read this properly.
     
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  11. D_Hailsham

    D_Hailsham

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    The only way you will know, for certain, what the legal position is, is by checking the deeds to the property (held by the Mortgage Co if you have a mortgage).

    The deed should contain a clause giving the neighbouring properties the right to "free passage and running of water through the pipes in or under the property" or word to that effect.

    There should also be a clause giving the Water Co the right to enter the property to inspect and repair the pipes.

    In any event the green pipe is the responsibility of the Water Co. You would only be responsible for the branch from the green pipe into your house.

    You should write to the water company, explaining what you intend to do and ask for their advice regarding re-routing of the supply to your neighbours and supplying you with a new connection. Phone calls to a call centre will get you nowhere!

    Have you checked that sewer and drain pipes don't, also, go across your garden?
     
  12. meditatinghamster

    meditatinghamster

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    Thanks for that. There dont appear to be any serwer pipes running throught the garden, and the drain is a shared one ajoining the next property. Fortunately , this doesn't cross the garden either. I'll write to them to see what they say and post back here with the info when I get it.
     
  13. D_Hailsham

    D_Hailsham

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    I came across some useful info about this on the OFWAT website and, I am sorry to say, I have misled you on this. For some strange reason, where a shared pipe crosses several properties, i.e. the green pipe, the owner of each property is responsible for the cost of maintaining his section.

    What about the green pipe which runs from the road to the back of the house? Is it on your land? If so, you are responsible.

    It would be worth making sure that your buildings insurance covers this. If not your water/sewerage co will usually provide cover - for a fee!
     
  14. The Baker

    The Baker

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    SLightly shifting the thread, I was asked to put a stop tap at a convenient hieght for a pensioner, she wanted it at the front of her sink unit, just inside the door.
    To cut a long story short, once I had turned off the shared supply in the back alley, leadlocked on to the lead pipe coming out of the floor behind the sink unit, run a new bit of pipe to a Hep2O stop tap.

    Iwent next door to relight their combi, no water would come through!

    I thought Id nackered the stop tap in the alley but discuvered water would flow through the new stop tap.

    Further examination showed that the cold main raises in the first house to just behind the sink unit, then branches off and goes to next door.

    How does that get sorted out?

    Tim
     
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  15. Agile

    Agile

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    I can see part of the logic of this.

    However, IF the Water Co is not taking responsibility, then I would have expected that the cost should be shared between all those who share its use. Thats the usual situation with shared sewers. Could it be that "repairing" is a different situation from "maintaining" ?

    In any case, It would not be a very difficult task to divert the pipe further down your garden away from the site of your proposed extention.

    Tony
     
  16. D_Hailsham

    D_Hailsham

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    Your are correct, I was quoting from memory - a bad idea at my age. ;)

    The info is on these two Ofwat pages:
    I share a supply pipe, what am I responsible for?
    My shared supply pipe is leaking, is it my responsibility?

    Ofwat also recommends that you should check your deeds.
     
  17. meditatinghamster

    meditatinghamster

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    I'm sorry to say that I didn't get around to writing to the water company in the end, as there turned out to be quite a bit of other stuff that needed sorting out with the house. I guess we were just worried about building a conservatory and having to rip it up to allow any pipes to repaired. From the many people I spoke to about this it doesn't seem to be of any concern to anyone. Looks like most people just do it and don't think about it, which did suprise me a bit given the cost of most conservatories.
     
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