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    • CommentAuthorbarge17
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
     
    Good Morning,

    I have a bit of a dilemma, the obvious thing to do would be to ask United Utilities the question, but as you will see, that could become very expensive.

    30 years ago we established a smallholding about 600metres down a narrow lane and installed a water meter in the land where our supply joins the village main water supply pipe. Our pipe is 32mm MDPE and has given excellent service, never leaking over the period, and pressure at our end has always been great.

    However, about 20 years ago we built and sold another house, keeping the one supply for both properties with the agreement that we pay the bill and the other owner reimburses us with a proportion of it.

    If we now decide to have a meter for each property, the only straightforward way to do that would be to dig the whole length of the lane again for a new pipe with all the reinstatement cost and upset. What I would like to do is split the pipe at the junction between the two house supplies, and install 2 meters, but I doubt whether the water authority would agree to coming down the lane to read them and somebody would need to take the risk of the pipe leaking down the length of the lane, which sounds fair enough to me.

    As far as I know, I don't think remote reading meters are used yet. Anyone have an idea which way to go?

    thanks, Barge17
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeNov 23rd 2013
     
    I would see if the water company would install two new meters at the properties and also check out when remote readers will come in an if it is not to far away wait for that. Failing that install private meters and get a written agreement about payment.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorbarge17
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    Thanks Jonti,
    "see if the water company would install two new meters at the properties"

    that is what I am now planning to do, but my worry is that once I have admitted to the fact that there are now two individual properties here, they will force us into going the whole distance with a second pipe.

    That is also why I ask the question on this forum anonymously rather than UU direct, hoping that someone has done something similar. cheers, barge17
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    barge17,

    my take would be that the current arrangement has been accepted by the water companies so if they were to insist on a change then they would carry the costs. What you might find is that the 32mm pipe is not up to current standards and the a 63mm pipe might be needed with hydrant hook up point at the end as I would think 600m would be too far for the fire brigade.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorTriassic
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013 edited
     
    I'm not aware that UU can 'force' you to install a new pipe so long as the current pipe meets the regs in force when installed. I wouldn't even admit you installed the pipe. Just ask for metering at each house.

    Alternatively if that fails, a farmer neighbour and the camp site next door are on a single pipe supply and they decided to go for metering, they each have a private meter at the branch off the private pipe and a New U U meter was installed at the start of the private supply where it joins the public supply. In that way they can each check their 2 bills add up to the amount passing through the main meter. Saved a lot of digging and cost.
    • CommentAuthorCav8andrew
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    We have a property with a water mains shared with our neighbours, installed when the properties were built in the early 1950's. At some point in the future we will need to upgrade the supply pipe to a larger dia. to improve flow rates and to eliminate the failing iron pipework. The stopcock currently serving both properties is located approx. 150m from the properties, adjacent to the mains. I have had many conversation with the water company re. this and the possibility of installing a meter, at no point have they ever expressed any concern regarding the existing shared supply only to say they would not allow it now on any new build. Their overiding concern is to ensure that their scope of responsibility ends at the existing stopcock, in all other respects they appear totally relaxed about shared nature of supply. They would happily (obviously at a cost) install larger bore stopcock or install 2 stopcock for two separate supplies but under no circumstances would the general position of these change.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    What I would like to do is split the pipe at the junction between the two house supplies, and install 2 meters, but I doubt whether the water authority would agree to coming down the lane to read them.


    I'm sure there are places where they have to go down a long driveway to get to the meter.
    • CommentAuthorbarge17
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    .
    .
    Thanks a lot for your replies, just what I needed, plenty of options to try before direct contact and possibly making things worse. What I didn't say in the beginning is that due to a misunderstanding a tap got left open a couple of months ago and the first we knew about it last week was a huge bill which now needs paying.

    A remote reading meter would be a wise investment to help stop this happening again.

    " a farmer neighbour and the camp site next door are on a single pipe supply and they decided to go for metering"
    Yes, but it sounds like they didn't have a meter before, so it would be in UU's interest to have two new meters + 2 sets of standing charge, etc.


    "check out when remote readers will come in "

    I shall have a look round UU's website. good idea
    .
    • CommentAuthorbarge17
    • CommentTimeNov 24th 2013
     
    From their site:
    "Since 1990, every newly built property has had a water meter installed.
    From the 1st April 2010, it is UUW policy that all new standard connections will have meters that are capable
    of being remotely read. This means access to the property is not needed to obtain a meter reading, meaning
    that we can install meters in locations that are more accessible to customers and avoid issues usually
    associated with traditional meter installations in the footpath or boundary. The available options are listed
    below.
    Where the required meter size is 25mm or above, the meter location may be internal, located at a suitable point
    where the pipework enters the building or external and located in a purpose built underground meter chamber.

    United Utilities’ preferred metering policy is one unit, one meter, one
    connection. However, we recognise that there are certain types of
    premises where this policy is difficult or impractical to achieve. In these
    situations an alternative solution to metering has to be reached. The
    following meter location options are available for this property type.


    1. Installation of AMR meters in each
    individual unit

    Where AMR meters are installed internally in each
    individual unit, they will be installed in the concentric
    meter adaptor fitted by the developer directly above
    the internal stop tap.

    This is a Southern water page:

    http://www.southernwater.co.uk/at-home/your-water/water-meters/your-meter-reading/your-amr-meter.asp
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2013
     
    Posted By: barge17From their site:
    1. Installation of AMR meters in each
    individual unit

    Where AMR meters are installed internally in each
    individual unit, they will be installed in the concentric
    meter adaptor fitted by the developer directly above
    the internal stop tap.

    This is a Southern water page:

    http://www.southernwater.co.uk/at-home/your-water/water-meters/your-meter-reading/your-amr-meter.asp




    Looks like that is your solution and you can even fit it yourself:bigsmile:
  1.  
    Just be careful with UU. There very likely to allow two meters up at the property but will insist that your liable for the supply from the mains meter to the properties. ie addition of 2 property meters should equal the main meter. We had this problem turns out our lovely neighbors either side had tapped into our mains supply. UU insisted each put there own feed pipe direct into the main (over 400mtrs) with separate meters.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2013
     
    Renewablejohn, weren't UU on your side “punishing” your neighbours for stealing your water?
  2.  
    Only on my side after I proved the next door neighbor was using my metered water by turning the supply off witnessed by UU and waiting over a week for my neighbor to run out. Up to that point UU very heavy handed taking legal action and insisting the heavy water usage was down to our horticulture requirements even though we could show a totally independent supply using spring water. Matters were made worse when the neighbors instructed UU to dig up our garden looking for a meter that never existed.
    • CommentAuthorJonti
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2013
     
    Posted By: renewablejohnJust be careful with UU. There very likely to allow two meters up at the property but will insist that your liable for the supply from the mains meter to the properties. ie addition of 2 property meters should equal the main meter. We had this problem turns out our lovely neighbors either side had tapped into our mains supply. UU insisted each put there own feed pipe direct into the main (over 400mtrs) with separate meters.


    But the situation will not worsen to now as they are responsible for the line after the meter anyway.

    Jonti
    • CommentAuthorbarge17
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2013
     
    Thanks again for helpful replies. So, renewableJohn, have I got it right that now you have three individual meters at the properties and one at the start of your main?
    Also, does that mean the 3 of you have separate accounts at UU ?

    I assume that one of you is still responsible for leaks on the main, so does that mean UU are happy to regularly read all 4 meters? I don't suppose AMR meters can be installed underground near a public road.
    • CommentAuthorwindy lamb
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2013
     
    At our previous place we had a metered supply to our field with a meter then 1.6km of pipe across 3rd party land to our trough, then a further 200m to a house not in our ownership. I used to read their meter then bill them for the water used. Worked well until they built an extension and teed in before the meter. Solution was to give them a wayleave to cross our land with their own supply and then turn the water off until they did it! The water company quoted ÂŁ2000 for the connection from the main the other side of the bypass.It apparently cost about ÂŁ5000 but they had to stand by the original quote.
    The neighbours were (eventually) more than happy because the new pipe was much bigger dia. and meant that they didn't loose their shower when our cattle were drinking!
  3.  
    Posted By: barge17Thanks again for helpful replies. So, renewableJohn, have I got it right that now you have three individual meters at the properties and one at the start of your main?
    Also, does that mean the 3 of you have separate accounts at UU ?

    I assume that one of you is still responsible for leaks on the main, so does that mean UU are happy to regularly read all 4 meters? I don't suppose AMR meters can be installed underground near a public road.


    I am now the only user of the pipe from the main to the house with a meter at the main and a meter at the house approx 600 mtrs. Only responsible for the water from the house meter into the house. The section from the mains to the house is like a sieve and I have agreed for it to be turned off at the mains as we have our own independent water supply due to our concerns of 100 mtrs of lead pipe potentially affecting the health of the kids. The two neighbors each had to install meters at the mains and 400 mtrs of water pipe for there independent water supply. I presume they now get there own bills and we no longer get a bill from UU.
    • CommentAuthorbarge17
    • CommentTimeNov 30th 2013
     
    i spoke to UU last week and they said they were trialling AMR meters in some areas and it was going well, so I have put in a request for one ( for a start and see how that goes ).

    He also said they have a small battery in them, don't need a mains supply, and can be read remotely even when underground. So that's all good news so far.
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