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Khalid Khan
Khalid Khan, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9
Experience:  Senior Solicitor
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I need to know if the water board is legally responsible for

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Hi, I need to know if the water board is legally responsible for a customer's water main runs directly under a road. Also, if, as they say, our shared water main is a private main, can they put a manhole in that main without asking permission please.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Carnon Downs, near Truro, Cornwall. The water supplier is South West Water.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: The pipeline was put in more than forty years ago privately by a man who was renovating the next door property. When we moved into our house 41 years ago, we were on well water and were advised to put in mains water to our house. The stopcock was 609 metres away and, of course, the cost was prohibative and we were advised to ask our neighbours if we could share theirs. Which we did. Over the years we have repaired this pipe when there has been a leak, but some years ago, well over 10 years, SW Water put a new stopcock at the junction of our road with the main road which carries the main. Our neighbour needed a new pipe from that stopcock to her house and her insurance paid for that to be done (this is about 100/110 yards long). At the same time, we put down a new line from that stopcock to our house just in case we were ever to have our own main, but it has never happened. For some time now, SW Water have repaired any faults with the main, and to my mind have taken over responsibility for the 609 metres. They say they haven't and it's still private (it crosses two roads). We want to sell our house, but need this sorting in order to do so.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so.
Hello. Thank you for your question. I hope this answer assists you. Water companies have the power to lay, inspect, maintain and repair or alter any pipes falling on private land.The company must provide the landowner with reasonable notice – usually a minimum period of 3 months before carrying out the work. This applies whether the landowner is a private individual, or an organisation.disputes about work water or sewerage companies carry out on pipes that fall on private land.If you are unhappy with how a company carried out the work on your land, you should firstly raise those concerns with the company and use their formal complaints procedure.Subsequently, if the complaint has not been addressed adequately then you raise the matter with the Water Regulator. The will consider the complaint on the following basis:company failed to adequately consult you, before and during the course of the work (for example, where you did not know they were carrying out the work)
the company acted unreasonably whilst carrying out the work (for example the company did not carry out the work as they had described in the consultation).If you are still unhappy, you can make a further complaint to a Land Tribunal. You will be provided with the process of how to apply to the Tribunal by OFWAT(The economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales).I hope the above information is helpful. Further information regarding complaints, procedure, your rights and the conduct of Water Companies can be considered on the OFWAT website.I wish you all the best.
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
Thank you so much for your reply, and for your good wishes. I'm not sure it fully answers my questions, as no work by SW Water has taken place on either our land or our neighbour's. I will get back to you if I need any more information. Thank you again.
Many thanks for your response. You're very welcome. Please feel free to get back to us if you have any further questions.
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