In the pipeline - DIY Plumbing Tip #21 -  Water Pipe Leaks - Plumbers Melbourne

December 18 2014

A commonly asked question of our busy customer service staff and plumbers in Melbourne is who is responsible to fix a burst water pipe? Is it the individual owners responsibility or is it that of the local water authority?

South-East Water clarified and simplified their ownership of water supply connections and property service pipes in July 2014 as follows….

1.South-East Water will maintain water supply domestic/general water service of any pipe size diameter to the water meter complex.

2.South-East Water will not maintain a private fire service pipe to a property that is an individual lot owners responsibility. The ferrule/sluice valve adjacent to the water main is the water authorities responsibility.

3.South-East Water will not maintain a combination domestic/general water and fire service to individual lot owner.

Reference: S.E.W Faults & Emergencies ph. 132 812 

Case Study One.

Our emergency plumber attended to a leaking fire service pipe overnight in the bayside suburb of Elwood. Upon arrival he could see water running out of a cast-iron cover which was above the sluice valve in the street. Knowing that the maintenance of this sluice valve is the water authorities responsibility this job was referred to the water authority to fix. This knowledge of what is the private lot owners responsibility to maintain is crucial to reducing expensive emergency plumbing costs.

Case Study Two.

A call was made to our customer service this week in relation to water that was seeping out of the footpath at the front of the unit complex in St Kilda. The owners Corporation manager informed us that Southeast water had already attended and informed them that they fire service pipe was suspected to be leaking. Our local Melbourne plumber attended and confirmed that it was a water leak in a combination domestic and fire service supply pipe for this property. Due to the difficulty in locating the exact position of the burst water pipe our leak detection specialist attended. He utilized ‘line tracing’ and ‘audio magnification equipment’ and pin pointed the exact area of the leak.

Case Study Three.

We were recently asked to provide a quote for a water service renewal in the inner south-eastern suburb of South Yarra. The local client from Brighton was asking us to quote on replacing the water supply pipe from the water authorities main in the street to the water meter. We advised the owner of this apartment complex that the replacement of this pipe would be the the local water authorities responsibility and should be done at their cost. She was happy to be informed of this fact and approached South East Water. 



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