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Inside your home

Leak allowance

If there’s a pipe, tap, toilet or appliance leaking inside your home, you are responsible for getting it repaired and you will have to pay the plumber.

We may make an allowance for a leak on your next bill if you let us know as soon as it is discovered and you get it repaired within 28 days. Please contact us on 01202 590059 for details. 

Some leaks are hard to detect because they are under the floorboards, on an outside tap or in a toilet, for example. But if you don’t repair a leak – even a small one – it can cost you money, waste precious water and cause serious damage over time. 

Common household leaks

These leaks can easily go unnoticed:

  • dripping taps in the house or in the garden – a dripping tap can waste as much as one litre per hour
  • toilet cisterns that leak into the bowl
  • appliances that are not working properly

Modern toilets with internal overflows can leak from the cistern into the bowl.

To see if a cistern is leaking into the toilet bowl, simply squirt coloured toilet cleaner around the back of the bowl and leave it for a few minutes. If the cleaner has been washed away without flushing, it’s likely that the toilet is leaking.

Burst pipes can cause serious damage and waste a large amount of water.

Find a plumber

When you are looking for a plumbing business, we recommend you select one which is a member of an Approved Contractors’ Scheme, such as the WaterSafe or the Water Industry Approved Plumbers’ Scheme (WIAPS).

Using an approved contractor will give you the following benefits:

  • Approved contractors are fully qualified to carry out plumbing work in homes and business premises. They have specific training in Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws, which enables them to ensure there should be no risk from poor installation or sub-standard materials that could cause contamination of your drinking water supply.
  • They will issue a ‘work completed’ certificate for their work, which provides a defense for property owners who are challenged by a water supplier enforcing the Water Fittings Regulations and Byelaws.
  • For most types of plumbing work, plumbers have a legal duty to notify the water supplier before they start work and this can lead to delays. Approved contractors can carry out some work without the need to provide advanced notification to the water supplier.
  • Approved businesses hold public and employers’ liability insurance.
  • There is an independent complaints procedure in place to resolve any technical disputes about how the work has been carried out, should a concern arise.
  • Approved businesses will be required to put their work right if it does not meet the requirements of the Water Fittings Regulations or Byelaws, enforced by the water supplier.
  • Approved businesses are audited to check they are complying with the rules of their Approved Contractors’ Scheme.

Please note the individuals listed on WaterSafe are not employed by Bournemouth Water. The register has been provided to help customers find an approved plumbing business.


WaterSafe is an umbrella organisation bringing together thousands of qualified contractors employed by plumbing businesses from the seven existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes across the UK. 
WaterSafe aims to raise plumbing standards by helping customers find the nearest qualified plumbing and heating professionals, through their dedicated online search facility.
To search for a plumbing business near you, follow this link:

Plumbers registered with the scheme will:

  • Have demonstrated their experience of plumbing work and knowledge of the Regulations
  • Certify that any installation or maintenance work satisfies the Regulations
  • Be legally responsible for any breaches of the Regulations in the certified work (rather than the owner or occupier)
  • Have liability insurance cover



The Water Industry Approved Plumbers’ Scheme (WIAPS) is run by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS) on behalf of Bournemouth Water. This is one of the seven existing Approved Contractors’ Schemes in the UK. Not all plumbing businesses registered with WIAPS have signed up to WaterSafe, so WIAPS may have additional qualified plumbers near you.
This website also includes a list of groundworkers who are qualified to undertake work on outside water services only and other specialist workers who work within designated sectors.
Follow the link to search on the WIAPS website: 

Approved contractors' schemes

Water companies and trade associations run the seven Approved Contractors’ Schemes throughout the UK. All of these schemes are authorised as Approved Contractors’ Schemes by the local water company or the Secretary of State under the Water Fittings Regulations.
Below is a list of the seven schemes which operate across the UK.
WIAPS – England and Wales, apart from area covered by Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water and Thames Water.
Anglian Water’s A Plus – Parts of the East of England
Severn Trent Water’s WaterMark  – Parts of the Midlands and the West of England
Thames Water’s TAPS – Parts of London and the Thames river area
APHC – Across all of England and Wales
CIPHE – Across all of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
SNIPEF – Across Scotland and Northern Ireland

Press Office

Journalists can contact the Press Office on 01392 443020 or via email


Should you get a water meter?

Water meters have important benefits for you, for us and for the environment as you can have more control over your water use and leaks are easier to detect.  

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