If you’ve noticed that your water bills are higher than normal, or that you can’t account for recent water usage, it’s possible you may have a leak. Leaks can lead to major issues and flooding, so getting any leaks fixed as soon as possible is a priority. Closing your business to deal with these problems can lead to significant lost income and even reputational damage.

So how can you know for sure if you have a leak? First, check all your taps and visible pipework to make sure none are leaking or dripping excessively. If all seems clear, the next thing to do would be to find your internal stopcock, sometimes located under a sink. Using the internal stopcock, switch off your water supply. To check you’ve done this successfully, you can turn on one of your taps to confirm the supply has been stopped. Next, locate your water meter and take a note of the numbers, including any decimal points.

(A tip from our meter readers – if your meter is difficult to read with the naked eye, used your camera phone to take a close-up picture.)

Now wait for 30 minutes or so, and then go back to your water meter. If the numbers on your water meter are the same, no water is leaking between your water meter and stopcock. You can turn your stopcock back on. However, if the numbers on your water meter have changed, then some water has escaped somewhere between your water meter and your stopcock. You should now phone a local plumber to report this.

leaking pipe

Alternatively, a leak could occur in the supply pipe between your business and the outside stop valve. In this case, it’s the responsibility of you and any other businesses that share this supply pipe to ensure the leak is fixed. If the leak is in the water mains pipe or the communication pipework that carries the water from the mains to the outside stop valve, then your Water Network Owner is responsible. Let them know as soon as possible to limit the damage to your business and the surrounding area.

Leaks can happen for a variety of reasons. During cold weather, the water within pipes can freeze, and when it finally thaws, the water expands and ruptures the pipes. Underground pipes can break due to movements in the soil, and old pipework can become worn out.

As your water supplier, Castle Water is on hand to offer advice on any of these issues. We can help you determine what course of action is necessary, recommend professionals to assist you, and put you in contact with your Water Network Operator.

View our Leak Assistance Guide

By taking advantage of Castle Water’s specialist water efficiency services, Swindon Borough Council were able to resolve a costly water leak at one of their properties, saving an estimated £250,000 per year on their water bill.

View our Swindon Borough Council Case Study