# True story

1. Jun 6, 2006

### wolram

At a time when there was a hose pipe ban, a person down the village noticed water gushing up from her lawn, she called severn trent (the local water authority and they told her ( it is not our problem it is a natural spring) for 5 weeks this lady watched her lawn being washed down the drain, eventually severn trent dug up the goop only to find an uncharted water main, the moral, well she would have been fined if she was caught watering her lawn which had been washed away.

Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
2. Jun 6, 2006

### J77

It's a joke - Thames water lose around 1000 million litres a day!

(source: bbc 2005)

3. Jun 6, 2006

### Danger

She should sue the water authority for replacement lawn costs.

4. Jun 6, 2006

### wolram

:rofl: :rofl: can you sue a god ?

5. Jun 6, 2006

### El Hombre Invisible

You can if you're Billy Connelly in a suit.

I guess, if the water main was uncharted, it may not have ever been adopted, so it could have been the lady's main. Taking the perspective that a main is just a huge pipe... a kind of... big hose, if you will, then clearly the lady was in breach of the law. Personally, I'd have thrown the book at her, though that would be also be against the law.

6. Jun 6, 2006

### Danger

If this was indeed 'her own' main, she certainly wouldn't have called Severn Trent to investigate its leakage. She would have contacted whoever did the initial illegal hookup into the town supply (which would have been quite a feat of subterfuge on its own). It's more likely that the water authority screwed up in their record-keeping and lost track of where all of their pipes were.

7. Jun 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Who pays for fixing it and any damage depends on which side of the meter the leak is on (at least here in the US)

A few years ago the water main to my house broke and started a river which found it's way to my basement window well and was flooding the basement. I called the water company and asked them to send a man out to shut off the water to my house. They said the break was on MY side of the meter, so it wasn't considered an emergency and they'd send someone out the next day.

So my basement continued flooding until the next morning when the water guy came out, I had to pay $800 for a new water main and then I got a bill from the water company for$200 for all the water that flooded my basement because they refused to shut the water off.

Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
8. Jun 6, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
But pay that bill 5 min late and they'll be right over to shut off the water.

9. Jun 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

:rofl: No kidding!

10. Jun 6, 2006

### Danger

A good point, Evo. How often, however, does the meter come into play before the line reaches the house (excluding commercial uses)?

11. Jun 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

The meter is usually near the street, since it is in the easement. I have a large yard, so 99% of the distance to the house is on my side.

But I'm not sure what you're asking?

12. Jun 6, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Hmm...that's different than places I've lived. The meter was always inside the house, usually with a window to read it from the outside, or in my last house, they switched over to something read electronically so nobody ever had to physically come to the property to do a reading, but it was still located inside the house with a radio transmitter thingy outside.

13. Jun 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Really? I've always seen them in the ground with that metal plate over them.

14. Jun 6, 2006

### Danger

The set-up that you describe, Evo, sounds like the way a commercial installation is done here (schools, factories, etc.). Our residential meters are internal to the house, as Moonbear described. So what I was asking is basically how the hell could it be considered her responsibility if a 5" pipe blows under her lawn? It obviously isn't coming from her house. The only way that it could be her fault, as I alluded to earlier, is if she had someone trench down and illegally connect to the other main outside of her meter zone. Not easy to do in a residential neighbourhood, without being noticed.

15. Jun 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

Odd, I've lived in 7 states, and the water meter was always in the easement, near the street, underground, under a metal plate that reads "water meter". The only meters I've ever seen on/near the house were electric and gas.

16. Jun 6, 2006

### Danger

The closest that we have to that is our sewer system. It's our responsibility as soon as it crosses the property line.

17. Jun 6, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
Were they all warm climates? Maybe it's a difference between the north and south so the water meter and shut offs remain accessible from inside the house when pipes freeze for those of us in colder climates?

18. Jun 6, 2006

### Danger

Good reasoning, MB. I would tend to suspect, however, that it's just the greediness of some municipalities and/or utility companies. (I don't know how it works in the US; here the city owns and operates the water/sewer system.) The closer the meter is to the street, the less maintenance costs for the company, while it has no effect on the amount of purchased water.

19. Jun 6, 2006

### Staff: Mentor

I've lived in New York, PA, IL, MD & Washington DC. I have a water shut off valve inside the house, so I can shut off water from coming in, but only the water company can shut off water "to" the house from the outside.

Again, I've only lived in new homes, maybe it's the difference between older homes and new homes?

20. Jun 6, 2006

### Moonbear

Staff Emeritus
There's a shut-off at the street too, but not the meter where I've lived.

Maybe. All the houses I've lived in were built circa 1960. Come to think of it, in my current home, I have no clue where the water meter is...it's a townhouse built only a year ago. I just assumed it was on the end of the unit somewhere that I don't really walk or look or care, but who knows? But since I rent, I don't worry about who owns which pipes; none of them are my responsibility.