Monday, 5 September 2011

Water, Water, Everywhere ....

Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
S.T. Coleridge 1798

A friend of mine has an elderly and vulnerable parent who has recently had a particularly upsetting experience with Thames Water

It seems that the Government is introducing new legislation regarding the ownership and liability for upkeep of sewers and water services (between service providers and property owners) and it seems that there is a flurry of activity to try to get matters in order before the legislation comes into force. Thus, the more that service providers can lumber property owners (or Insurers) with costs, the better. The 'flurry of activity' has included surveys for "Customer Side Leaks"; the property owners being liable for fixing leaks and returning a “Leak Fixed Form”.

There is a particularly unusual arrangement of Stop-valves for this property and its neighbours.

A Contractor turned up unannounced and repaired the Stop-valve on the pavement outside this particular property.

Daughter of said property owner phoned and e-mailed Thames Water pointing out that the Stop-valve outside the property was not unique to that property and that Thames Water should already have known this.

The 60-year old (may be even be older than that) Stop-valve on the footway had thus been leaking and was replaced by a brand-new one of modern design, since when it has not leaked.

Thames Water totally failed to grasp the point about the layout of the services to this group of ten houses and the possibly distressing nature of the demanding letters that were sent.

Following further exchange of e-mails a cheque for £75 has been sent to the property owner as a gesture of goodwill.

One would hope that Thames Water employees would have learned something from this but one somehow doubts it ....

Back to the Ancient Mariner:

(S)he went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser (wo)man,
(S)he rose the morrow morn.


  1. Thank you, Weggis, for the information on "Section 24". I sincerely hope that other readers will be able to make use of it.

    Most of the houses in the street in question were built in the 1930’s and each of them has a Stop-valve on the public footway. This group of ten houses was built on a section of 'spare' land in the 1950’s by the Local Authority, with a view to private sale, and they do not generally have their “own” Stop-valve on the public footway. There are in fact THREE covering ten houses; although, as work has been done on the internal pipework for these later houses, most if not all now have an "isolator" somewhere within the property boundary.