Tom Melhuish 3 min read

Suspect that your business is suffering from a water leak?

The Consumer Council for Water estimates that each day 3.1 billion litres of water is lost to leakage across the UK. The cost of a water leak is ultimately borne by the end consumers of water, in other words, the households, and businesses, through increased water bills.

The cost of a water leak is ultimately borne by the end consumers of water, businesses and households, through increased water bills.

What happens if there is a leak on my business premises?

Put simply, if leakage occurs on your property after the water has passed through your meter, then your business will be directly paying for it. The leak will result in significantly increased volumetric water and wastewater charges on your water bill.

Detecting a leak can save your business thousands in unnecessary water charges.

What are the potential indicators of a significant leak?

  • Boggy or damp ground on your property

If you notice an area of land that appears unusually saturated with water, it could indicate a significant leak. This kind of leak comes from an underground mains pipe and will result in only a specific area being impacted. The inclement British weather can also result in damp ground, so this will be easiest to spot after good weather.

  • Subsidence

Ground subsidence occurs when the ground underneath a property starts to sink. Subsidence will reveal itself in small changes to your business property, such as sticking windows and doors, ripples in wallpaper, or cracks running along walls.

Subsidence is often caused by damage to water infrastructure and drainage systems on a property. Subsidence can impact a property’s structural safety and value so suspected subsidence should be addressed immediately

  • Mould and mildew

A leak may result in water seeping into your business property’s floors, walls, or ceilings. The affected area will become damp and then start to attract mould. Mould, in turn, will give off a musty odour, giving you a strong indication of the presence of a broken pipe.

What should I do if I suspect there is a leak on my business property?

We recommend contacting your business water supplier if you suspect there is a leak on your business property. Your water supplier will be able to look up unusual patterns in your water meter readings that can help identify a leak.

The customer services department will arrange a visit from your wholesaler, the regional company that maintains the water network.

If a leak is identified which is before the water meter then it will be the wholesaler’s responsibility to fix it, if the leak is after the water meter then it will be the responsibility of the property occupier. However, we note that many of the network providers will fix the issue either way if it is not too expensive to do so.