Finding and fixing leaks outside your property

Water is a precious natural resource and we want to look after it. To reduce the amount of water lost from our network, we’re aiming to halve leakage by 2050. That’s why our teams are working seven days a week to find and fix leaks.

What we’re doing to minimise leakage

We’ve been increasing the size of our leakage team, to help us respond to leaks quickly. In Hampshire alone, we’re proactively fixing 100 leaks a week and making a further 150 repairs reported by customers. Across our area, our find-and-fix teams are using some innovative technology to make progress. 


Using technology to find leaks

We’re investing more than ever in new technology to find and fix leaks on our network:

  • We’ve fitted 7,000 acoustic loggers to detect and pinpoint leaks and we’re also trialling more technologically advanced acoustic loggers
  • We’re speeding up the roll out of a new Advanced Pressure Management system on our network to reduce fatigue of the pipes which can cause bursts


Thanks for telling us if you spot a leak

We really value customers reporting leaks to us. This means that our find-and-fix teams can get out and fix them quickly. We have a dedicated phone line for customers to use to report a leak.

You can call our Leakline on freephone 0800 820 999 or 0330 303 0146 (calls charged at local rate) to report leaks in your area.

Temperature changes (such as extreme cold and prolonged dry spells) can cause the ground to move – putting strain on our underground water mains and causing them to leak. Illegal standpipes, high commercial water use and other industrial misuse can also lead to unexpected pressure surges in the water mains, which can lead to burst pipes.

Many of our water main pipes are metal and starting to show their age, so we're aiming to replace them with plastic pipes to protect water supplies well into the future.


If we need to repair a leak outside your property
  1. One of our inspectors will attend to identify the cause and arrange to make necessary repairs.
  2. We'll identify the problem and inform you of next steps to resolve it.
  3. If a leak is confirmed, our service partner will attend and make the repair. Everything should now be working and back to normal.
  4. When the ground is ready, they'll make the surface reinstatement permanent (for instance the pavement or road, see examples below), leaving everything as we found it.

Frequently asked questions

What is a temporary reinstatement?

A temporary reinstatement is a temporary and safe fix of the affected area. The temporary reinstatement may not use the same material as before so may appear different.

This will be rectified when a permanent reinstatement is completed.

Why did you not complete a permanent reinstatement?

To complete a permanent reinstatement we need to use specialist equipment and be sure the ground has settled after the fix. This could take up to four months to do so.

Why is it a different colour?

All reinstatement material is new and therefore has not undergone ageing or weathering to the same degree that the original material has.

We endeavour to match as close as possible to the existing material in order to minimise colour differences.

It is not very neat!

Any reinstatement left at interim by the repair team is temporary, to ensure that the site is left safe.

The reinstatement team who will then carry out the permanent reinstatement will ensure that the patch is left neat and tidy. Both the temporary and permanent reinstatements will comply with the standards set by the local Highways Authority.

Why is the ground stained, will the stain always be there?

Whilst carrying out the repair the wet material excavated contains chalk and clay and may result in temporary staining. Our teams sweep and wash all sites and any staining will fade in due course.

Where are the paving slabs?

We try to leave all paving slabs in the vicinity of the works. Where this is not feasible, we will take them back to the depot for safe keeping.

We always endeavour to re-use existing slabs, however, on occasion, slabs may be damaged when performing the initial excavation and require to be renewed.

Where possible we’ll exchange like for like. Damaged slabs are removed and recycled.

Why did you not ask my permission before working outside of my house?

All pavements, roads and kerbs unless privately owned are the responsibility of the local Highways Authority and all work we carry out is done with their full knowledge and agreement.

What should I do if I spot a leak outside my property?

Leaks on water mains can be slow and gradual or erupt very quickly with visible water flooding.

If the water leak is in your garden then there's probably a fault on your supply pipe – which you're responsible for.

Where possible, immediately turn the water off at your stop tap. If this isn't possible, we'll arrange for someone to attend as a priority.

We offer up to one hour’s free detection work to help locate the leak on your private supply pipe.

For more information read our Code of Practice on water leaks, which details our responsibilities for the ownership of supply pipes and eligibility for repair.

Contact our customer call centre on 0330 303 0368 (calls charged at local rate) and we will arrange for someone to visit your home.

If there is a water leak outside the boundary of your property, for example on the road or footpath, we will repair it as quickly as possible and restore water supplies.

Please use our online form to report a leak.

Save a little water, make a lot of difference

Hotter summers and less rainfall means there’s less water to go around. But small changes soon add up
Find out more