Working outside your property

How do leaks happen?

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 lead to unexpected pressure surges in the water mains, which can also lead to bursts.

Many of the pipes within our water main network are metal (generally cast iron). These pipes have stood the test of time but are starting to show their age. Our mains replacement programme aims to replace the older pipes with plastic pipes to protect water supplies well into the future.

Illustration of a typical installation

Examples of reinstatements

Temporary reinstatement

Permanent reinstatement

Block paving


Block paving

Slab paving


Slab paving

Tarmac surface


Tarmac surface

Pedestrian footplace


Concrete curing

Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.