What happens after a water leak is reported?

​​​​​​​ What happens after I report a leak?

Fixing a leak can sometimes be a bit tricky, but our process looks like this:

Reporting a leak is easy – you can contact us through the online leak reporting form , or you can call our customer service staff on 838 6699. We need as much information as possible about the leak to be able to assess it and book it in for repair.
Our staff will go out and check on the leak, assess its priority and work will start on planning the repair and getting the right equipment, parts and staff.

In a lot of cases this just means having staff available to complete it, but sometimes there can be a delay between planning the repair and actually getting it fixed.

Sometimes we have to wait for parts, sometimes the repair means we have to shut down the water supply to a street which means we need to notify residents, and sometimes we have to attend other emergency jobs. If the repair is in a roadway, we have to have a traffic management plan to keep our staff, and motorists, safe.

Once the leak is repaired and the site made safe, the work area is booked in for reinstatement (which means we repair the footpath, road or grassed area where the repair took place). This can be up to a few weeks after the repair, as we fit the work in with our programmed maintenance in the area.

What causes pipes to leak?

Leaks can happen for lots of reasons. It could be tree roots affecting the pipes, soil movement around old pipes, building work being done nearby or simply through old age. Although most of Hamilton’s water pipes are relatively new (within the last few decades), there are still some which were installed around 100 years ago. 

Why doesn’t the Council know where all the leaks are?

That might have been easier in 1903, when there was only 3km of pipes in Hamilton (and just 51 customers!), but today there are more than 1000km of underground pipes in the city servicing over 60,000 homes and businesses and more than 150,000 residents. We identify and repair some leaks through our monitoring equipment but leaks are often hard to track down, so we appreciate the public letting us know if they spot one. 

I’ve spotted a leak – what should I do?

If it’s clear water gushing or trickling from the ground, then it’s probably a water leak. You can check to see if the leak has already been reported on our Leak Status report, and send us the details online through our Leak Reporting form. If you would prefer to call us, or if the leak is gushing, call our 24-hours customer services team on 838 6699. 

What happens once I report a leak?

Our inspectors will check the site of the leak, and evaluate its priority. They will then record the job, and it will be allocated to one of our teams to fix. After the repair, the ground or road around the repair site will be made safe. Final reinstatement of the grass, concrete or tarseal around the repair site may be up to a few weeks after the repair, depending on workloads. 

How soon will you fix it?

Leaks are sorted by priority. We aim to be at Priority 1 leaks (gushing or major damage) within an hour, and repaired as soon as practical. For Priority 2 leaks (trickling or slow leak), we aim to have it fixed within five working days. We try to get to all leaks as soon as possible, but the most serious need our attention first. 

I reported a leak but I don’t know if anyone’s checked it.

Our inspectors get out to reported leaks as soon as they can. You can also check current reported leaks. 

You came and looked at the leak, but no-one’s been back.

We assess the leak as soon as we can, but sometimes there’s a delay between the inspection and the repair. If we need to shut down the water supply to a street to complete the repair we try to let homeowners or businesses know in advance. Sometimes we have to wait for new parts, or special equipment, and sometimes we have had to attend a higher-priority call. You can check the progress of current reported leak repairs here. 

What if the leak is on private property?

The homeowner is responsible for leaks within their property, as well as any leaks or breakages in the water supply pipe that connects the water in your home from our water mains in the street. A leak can waste thousands of litres of water so we suggest you contact a licenced plumber to repair the leak for you. To protect water supply for our communities, private homeowners and businesses have legal responsibilities to ensure leaks on their property are repaired. 
It is illegal, and potentially unsafe, for anyone to do plumbing, gasfitting or drainlaying without the required approvals, so remember to ask tradespeople for their authorisation card.

Page reviewed: 17 Dec 2019 10:56am