Pipe responsibility

Many people do not realise that the Cambridge Water is not the owner of all the pipes that lead to their properties.

You can see from the diagram that your property is connected to the water main in the road by a small diameter service pipe. There will be a stop tap on this pipe, in a chamber near the boundary of your property with the road - usually in the footpath. There may also be a water meter in this chamber.

Supply pipe arrangement

The part of the service pipe which links the water main in the street to the boundary of your property belongs to Cambridge Water and is our responsibility to maintain.

The part of the service pipe leading from the boundary of your property to the point where it enters the building is the responsibility of whoever owns the property, along with all the internal plumbing.

Any leak in your front garden or under your drive is likely therefore to be your responsibility to repair. Cambridge Water will however provide some help with repairs on the customer's part of the service pipe

Our pipes

We own:

• the stoptap in the road or pavement; and usually

• the service pipe from the main to the boundary of your property (the ‘communication pipe')

• the water meter, where fitted

Your pipes

You own:

• the rest of the service pipe, which takes water into the house (your ‘supply pipe')

• your own stop tap, either inside or outside your house

• all the plumbing inside the house

If your pipe runs under other properties before it reaches yours, it is still your responsibility

Shared service pipes

If you live in an older property, you may share a service pipe with your neighbours. This may cause a reduced flow at your taps when your neighbours are using water.

We may require the replacement of a shared pipe with separate service pipes if:

• the pipe is in poor condition or can no longer meet the needs of the properties

• the houses are converted into a number of flats or homes

• the shared pipe has been interfered with

You and your neighbours are responsible for the costs of separating the service pipe.

Any disputes about the requirement to have a separate service pipe will be referred to Ofwat to decide.

Electrical Earthing

You are responsible for making sure that all the electrical appliances in your property are safely earthed. Do not use your water service pipe for earthing your household electrical appliances. It is illegal and highly dangerous. Providing electrical earthing is not one of our services.