What happens when you report a leak

The easiest way to report a leak is using our online leak form. Simply fill in the form and we'll do the rest.

You can also ring our leak-line on 0800 393 084 or contact us on Facebook and Twitter.

Fixing leaks isn't always straight forward and we often need to talk to other people to get permission and make arrangements to do the repairs. We know it can be frustrating when you see a leak you have already reported still running and we promise we haven't forgotten. We are doing everything we can behind the scenes to get it fixed as quickly as we can.

The following steps show what happens once you have contacted us and how long it takes us to deal with most leaks. If a leak is causing severe flooding, damage or posing a risk to people or homes, we will follow our emergency process to fix the leak.

1. You need to report a leak

Please provide as much information as possible, so we have a clear picture of how serious the leak is.

Our online leak form will only take a couple of minutes to complete.

2. The information is passed to an advisor

We enter the information you have provided and arrange for one of our leakage technicians to visit.

3. We visit to investigate the leak

A leakage technician attends to find out where the water is coming from, using specialised leak detection equipment. We may also need to take a water sample so we can analyse the water to find out if it's coming from our water pipes.

This visit takes between 1 and 10 days, depending on how serious the leak is.

4. We get the results

If the leak is on our pipes we will arrange for it to be fixed.

If the water is murky or standing, and we think it's caused by a blocked drain we will ask one of our sewerage technicians to visit site.

Sometimes no leak is found, or we’re not responsible for the water. This can be down to surface water or heavy rainfall.

It may be a leak on private pipework, which the owner will need to repair. We will talk to the owner about the repairs and agree the date they need to fix it by.

5. Planning the repair

As our pipes run under roads and footpaths, we often have to get permission from local councils before we can start digging. To ensure the safety of road users, pedestrians and our crews we may need to use temporary traffic lights or divert traffic to carry out the repair. In this case the council will carry out an assessment and, if they feel there is already too much work going on in the area, they will give us a date when we can return to fix the leak. This means we may not be able to repair the leak for up to 21 days.

6. Repairing the leak

One of our community teams attends the site and digs down in the road or footpath to repair the leak.

We will put up barriers to make sure road users and pedestrians are safe while we carry out the repair.

7. We reinstate the area

We will fill in the hole to permanently repair the road or footpath. Sometimes we do a temporary repair, but will return to make it permanent within 5 days of the leak being fixed.

We will make sure we leave the area how it was before we started working.

These time frames are for guidance only. We try to fix leaks as soon as we can, but repairs can take longer depending on the number of leaks we need to fix, and the council approval we need before we can start working on site.

Our top priority is to make sure everyone has water to their taps and we may need to reschedule leak repairs to deal with emergency work.

Work in your Community

Work in a business that supports your community

At Northumbrian Water, we work to make a difference in your community.

Have you considered a career that can help you do the same?

As well as the teams you see working in your streets, we have people doing a wide range of jobs that support that work to deliver the best possible water and sewerage services across the North East.

You can find out more about careers with Northumbrian Water and check out the latest vacancies by following the link below.