Any advice on getting our Water Meter switched on?!

Hello All,

We have a building project in Normandy - my husband was out there in October last year and built up to roof level. We have no electricity or water - the neighbour lent him his hose to mix the cement. He is returning in April to make it water tight etc and we have written and emailed in French to Saur (the Maire told us this was the company to contact) on a number of occasions. We've had no joy though. Any suggestions?

Many thanks


The water was connected last week! My husband went out for two weeks this month and by chance we had an email to our UK address saying they could come out and that they did! We can now feed the water into the new build. Next stop electricity...

Any one of those should do - in France it is best to go along with as much information as you possibly can then, if you are very lucky you may not have to make a return journey!

Thank you Melissa - only bills I have are the tax foncieres/habitation/insurance but I do have the deeds to the property

I agree. Go to your nearest SAUR office with details of the closest water connection on a cadastre map or point it out to them in the office in relation to your building, take another company's bill if you have one or similar for proof you own the building and sign everything to get started. Don't worry about lack of French just smile a lot and use pictures.

Hi Peter - it is an old one circa 1960s and did have electric etc so think it should be on the map!

lol yes!

Thank you David - glad relations have improved! Will definitely look into speaking with a plumber. Our neighbour is very friendly who sold us the property so hopefully there shouldn't be any problems

Hi there is a pipe there but they have taken the meter away. There's a concrete chamber which shows the end of the pipe and nothing more and we've looked outside the property on the roadside and can't find any further stopcock or sign of any other access point.

Hi, again,

Is this a new building or an old one ?- the latter would normally have water and elec; the former might not even be on the map as far as the service companies are concerned!

You'd need water to make coffee, won't you ?

Otherwise ; sound advice

I should have added that these things can be complicated in France. When we were redoing our house of twenty years occupation our neighbours of less than five years occupation objected to the digging of a trench across the boundary of their property in order for us to have a decent electricity supply.Fortunately we recalled that there already was an underground cable which existed before our neighbours bought their adjoining property and which supplied a logement HLM in the old presbytery on the other side of the church from us.The electricity company simply tapped into this supply to serve our house. Thankfully our neighbours are no longer afraid of us Anglos and we now have the best of relations.

So if there's no meter and no connection then contact a local plumber. He/she will be able to do the business. I just hope the water main isn't too far away.If your immediate neighbour is really close then that shouldn't be a problem because all the water company will need to do is take a spur of the main and install a meter.

So would the water company join up the meter, or do you need a plumber first? If it was joned to the supply, would it not just start?

Thanks Teresa - am definitely going to get someone to call. I know its a different way so don't get too frustrated about it as live in the UK - I'm sure the local builders merchant would be happier if we can get on and spend some euros getting it habitable!

My husband has just said there is no meter connection at all!

Just to say there is absolutely no point in emailing, or writing.

Throw all the things you know about dealing with contractors / companies in the UK out of your head.

It's a good thing. I never complain about the French way of doing things - it's the reason we moved here.

We run a huge Chateau (not ours) - 4 years in we're getting into the swing of things. We have a (10k) pool issue at the moment, the lovely pool guys will come 'at some point'. Every time we go to the office we get tied up with looking at pictures of their new truffle dog, the new truffles he found, come round for an omelette.

My advice - get someone french fluent to call up - confirm the RDV by phone and text (get the mobile no.) The day before call again. Text the guy who is coming. Make him a coffee!

Hi Peter no it isn't - the neighbour sold us the house back in 2004 we left it for years then applied for planning which was approved in 2 weeks! The Mairie didn't mention a key nor has the neighbour just that we need to contact Saur to get it switched on. Should be fun!

That is plan B! I'm alright at speaking a bit but don't think my French will stretch this far but will certainly give it a go!

ok will give that ago - we did send it registered but not with an international acknowledgment.