Leaks

Every time you walk the dog, go to the shops or visit a neighbour the chances are you'll be stepping over a Cambridge Water water main.

In fact there are 2300km of them winding their way to more than 125,000 homes and businesses and if you laid them end to end they would stretch all the way from Land's End to John O'Groats and back again!

With so much pipe work running underground it is inevitable there will be some water loss through minor leaks and seepage.

Every year Cambridge Water ploughs thousands of pounds into stemming the flow of leaks. Recent initiatives include installing special district metres located in villages and Cambridge Cileak2ty to assist in their rapid detection.

What if I notice a leak?

Contact our 24 hour leak line on 0800 316 7676.

We aim to inspect all water leaks within 48 hours of your call. They will be assessed in terms of how much water is leaking, whether any customers are receiving loss of supply or low pressure, and if it is likely to flood properties or cause a danger to traffic or life. If the leak is within the boundary of your property we will also confirm who has responsibility for the leak.

 

Signs of leaks 

Damp patches in or outside the property, or lush vegetation in dry periods may be indications of leaking pipes.

If you have a water meter, an unusually high reading may also indicate a leak.

Using your meter to check for leaks

If you have a meter you can use this to check whether you have a water leak.

On your water meter the black numbers on the meter indicated the cubic metres used and the red numbers indicated the fractions of cubic metres. To check that you do not have a leak on any pipework after the meter:

1) Turn off all taps

2) Read the meter (including the red digits)

3) Do not use any water for a length of time (eg overnight or while you are out for the day).

4) Read the meter again

If the second reading is higher than the first there may be a leak. 

What happens if the leak is my responsibility?

You are responsible for repairs to:

1) Your pipe

2) Your stop-tap

3) All the plumbing inside your property

If you need your underground pipe work locating or tracing within your property boundary we recommend you engage an approved plumber.

What happens if the leak is our responsibility?

At Cambridge Water we take all leaks very seriously. If you do report a leak, we will repair it as soon as we possibly can dependent on the severity of other leaks which have been reported to us, and we appreciate your patience during any waiting time.

What is Cambridge Water's leakage target?

Cambridge Water is set a leakage target by the industry regulator Ofwat.  Our current target is 14 ml/d (million litres a day). While this sounds a lot this rate is lower than the national average and is set at a level which means it is cost effective to repair them.  

The company plans to maintain its total leakage at or below 14 Ml/d, effectively reducing per property leakage by 30% by 2035.

What is Cambridge Water doing to reduce its leakage?

There are many ways to reduce our leakage figure. The most obvious is to renew our water mains, many of which are over 100-years-old.

Over the period 1995-2007 the company renewed, on average, 13km of mains each year.

We have recently adopted a programme of installing district meters to Cambridge city and the surrounding villages. These meter the flow of water and by comparing readings, we can rapidly identify if there is a leak within the metered zone.

Finally, our free leak detection service and leak repair scheme are designed to encourage members of the public to report leaks wherever possible. On average we repaired 200 leaks at people's homes every year.

All this work means Cambridge Water consistently meets the leakage targets set by industry regulator Ofwat.