Water leak between meter and property


At what point between the water meter, between our property boundary and the meter (the meter is located across the road and on someone else’s land), do we have responsibility for repair?

SAUR has just come by to show us that the water meter reports a big water usage. Our water meter is located on a triangle of land across the road from our property.

Has anyone had an issue like this?


as a general rule… your liability is after your water meter and into your house…
if the pipe from the meter crosses public land on its way to you… it might be different…

It is my understanding that anything after the meter heading towards your property is your responsibility, even if it is on someone else’s land, but there might be specific case law or “Q and A” about your particular situation out there on the internet.

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Thanks for your thoughts! It does make sense, there does seem to be a possible ‘gray’ area, regarding who is ultimately responsible, depending on where the leak is…

So the next question is: how do we find the leak, since there’s been no evidence in our house of the leak. Water pressure’s been fine, and no sign of excess water anywhere outside the house. It was a total surprise to see the (nice) SAUR guy today, and learn from him and when he pulled up the concrete slab, to see the water meter dial turning round and round…

How does a plumber discover where the leak is located?


switch off before and after the meter, is the first thing to do… to stop the water…
maybe contact your insurance company and ask if there is cover… ( @fabien )
as I know that locally a section of road had to be dug to find the problem and this was expensive…

now you know… you need to minimise the water-loss


Fist thing I would do is turn of the water supply in your house and watch the dial in the water meter over a period of 30 minutes if its still moving there is a leak if nothing happens say over 3 hours there is no leak


and it could be a leaky meter itself… which is why the householder needs a stopcock as close to the meter as possible… as well as one in the house…


Worth checking the age of the meter. They’re supposed to have a life expectancy in France of 15 years. The meter remains the property of the water company who are supposed to change it when it’s reached end of life. Any faults caused by it being old are the water company’s responsibility - unless they were denied access to a property to replace an old meter.


Unfortunately you are correct.

Sometimes there is a “leak detection” cover on your insurance policy but, an overwhelming number of policies do not cover the pipes between the meter and the main property. So this is something to double check with your current insurance company or insurer.


Thanks Gareth; it’s a new meter (2019).

Interestingly, a friend recommends securing the services of a ‘sorcerer’ or water diviner as they call them in the US: someone who has ‘divining rods’ of metal or wood, who can detect water beneath ground. Our friend suggests that perhaps since we haven’t seen any sign of water leakage, it might be from a pipe below ground over a meter and a half deep. If we can’t get an independent professional to perform this service, then we might consider contacting the Water Board (?).

Um. Hmm. ??? Any thoughts?

Do they mean un sourcier (would that not be the word for a spring-finder or water finder) or un sorcier (sorcerer)

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Steve explained the first test to do before you connect with a witch doctor.


Sourcier. Thanks!

Meters have a stop tap immediately to each side of the meter chamber to allow the water company to replace the meter without the need to turn if the entire street.
I imagine the chap from Saur would have already tested the meter before informing rhe customer of the leak.

Ahh the perfect rose tinted world of France. My neighbour had the similar problem and it took months arguing before Saur finally admitted their meter leaked

That’s a great idea but many meters in France do not actually conform to that ideal.

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Please note: you may require a leveling of your next bill, provided you produce a repair bill showing this was a hidden leak, and do this not later than one month.


One place to check is the group security valve on your water boiler, this can leak and the resulting water goes straight to drain.
Because its not a visible leak it can go unnoticed and gallons of water are lost.

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