Pipes on private land

Pipes on private land

Water companies have the power to lay, inspect, maintain and repair or alter any pipes falling on private land.

The company must provide the landowner with reasonable notice – usually a minimum period of 3 months before carrying out the work. This applies whether the landowner is a private individual, or an organisation.

Disputes about work on private land

Sometimes there are disputes about work water or sewerage companies carry out on pipes that fall on private land.

If you are unhappy with how a company carried out the work on your land, you should firstly raise those concerns with the company and use their formal complaints procedure.

If you are unable to resolve the dispute with the company, we may be able to investigate, but only in certain circumstances.

We can investigate if you believe that:

  • the company failed to adequately consult you, before and during the course of the work (for example, where you did not know they were carrying out the work)
  • the company acted unreasonably whilst carrying out the work (for example the company did not carry out the work as they had described in the consultation)

Find out more about complaints we handle.

Important information about private land work disputes

We cannot normally consider complaints:

  • about something which happened more than 12 months ago
  • where the work hasn’t finished yet
  • about how work in private land is designed, planned or carried out
  • about compensation for depreciation, loss or damage caused by works in private land – where a landowner and water company cannot reach an agreement on the amount of compensation, disputes are determined by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber)not Ofwat