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Water leak on land

  • 11-03-2022 4:45pm
    Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    There is water leaking somewhere on my land (possibly more than one leak) and I can't find it. I have tried putting in gate valves to isolate the location but that didn't work. It is leaking about 4000 litres every 24 hours so it is costing me a good bit. I know there are leak detection services that come out and will try to find the leak but I was wondering are there any devices you can buy that would detect the pipes so I would know what direction they are running in?

    There is equipment that will detect water leaks underground but I don't know how reliable they are. With all the rain we have got recently (and might get in teh future) it may not be able to differentiate between a leak and a water spring.

    I presume this kind of equipment would be monstrously expensive though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭ Easten

    Go through the obvious first such as water troughs then anywhere there is a joint. Also check the water meter itself to make sure it's not giving a false reading.

    After that you are looking at digging up the pipes yourself or getting in specialist equipment. I know there's equipment that can "hear" leaks from pipes but idk how deep they'd work at. If you fail to find the leak you should contact the council or Irish water they would have the specialist equipment and may be able to help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,573 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    From my experience Irish water and council won't bother. we'd a guy here years ago that was able to trace it by going ftom trough/tap to trough/tap and would know between which connections the leaks were. He was here twice and found it both times under the concrete.

    Just cant find his number

    I'd say it was this guy.

    Looking at the address I think Marian Finucane used to live there years ago

  • Registered Users Posts: 849 ✭✭✭ Easten

    My experience with the council was a bit better, I was trying to locate pipework running through the yard. I went in and asked, they send a lad out the following week and he located the run of the pipe in no time. Didn't cost me anything except a cup of Tae and a few biscuit's for the guy as he didn't want to go back to the yard that quickly.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,573 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    I dug up 50ft of water pipe before I realised that the council lad got it wrong, he had some value of equipment in the van. he probably was looking for a backhander.

    When I was young, an old man used a listening stick to trace leaks for people, he worked for the council and would be tracing leaks in the mains around here. He'd make sure you didn't have a leak but he'd trace it for you. some of our lands didn't have meters and he'd be checking your connection with a listening stick

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    The leak(s) are not coming from water troughs anyway because when I have the gate valves in located so that closing them cuts off the supply to the troughs. It is actually leaking closer to 5000 litres every 24 hours, I thought it was 4000. The layout of the pipes on the land is a bit of a maze, there could be one going off somewhere that I don't know about. It must be a significant leak because I can hear the water meter clicking there is so much water going through. You'd think with a leak that big you'd see water gushing up somewhere but I can't see anywhere that it is.

    With all the rain we have had lately a lot of the fields are wet, I might have a better chance of finding it if and when the place dries up.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 64 ✭✭ Jim_11

    Hardly a neighbour after tapping in on your meter 😂

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,617 ✭✭✭ Suckler

    There must be multiple leaks. At 5,000 L every 24 hours, you'd have a150 IBC tanks in one spot in a month, the place would be saturated. Faulty meter would be my first port of call. tap the other side of the meter and fill a tank, if the volume filled matches the reading on the meter then at least you know to start following the line.

    Edit: And I'd definitely take a look at the suggestion of a neighbour tapping in to your line

  • Registered Users Posts: 799 ✭✭✭ grange mac

    See if you can get a pressure reader attached to pipes....pipe that doesn't hold pressure contains your problem. Does not identify exactly where tho.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    I think I have found the leak, I am taking tomorrow off work to fix it but I have a related issue; I rang Irish Water asking for a leak allowance because the last bill I got was massive. I gave them meter readings to verify there had been a leak. I got a letter from them saying that because I had previously applied for a leak allowance they weren't going to give me one.

    They said only 1 self-certified leak allowance can be granted per customer account. I must provide a plumber's report to clarify that the leak has been repaired.

    Has anyone here done this and how do I go about it? I don't need a plumber to fix the leak, I can fix it myself I am fairly sure. So when I have it fixed I ring up my plumber and get him to come out and look at what I have done and write a report? Just want to make sure I give myself every chance of getting the allowance.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,499 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2

    If the leak is on your land I can't see them giving you an allowance.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    I got an allowance before; it was a genuine leak. It took me a while to find it (just like this one). When a leak occurs on farmland it can take a good while to find it. You notice a leak because there is an increase in the meter reading in a 24-hour period compared to what it normally is. Then you have to look for where it is. Our land is over 20 hectares with underground pipes going all over the place, in some cases I don't know the exact location of the pipes.

    Surely some allowance has to be made for the time the leak occurred and when you find it.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Given the price Irish water charges,the cheapest way to fix this problem is probably replace all the pipes to the troughs and definitely map the new ones

    Put in a few extra shut off valves along the new line

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,499 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2

    Or bore your own well

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    Replacing all the pipes would be a massive job. Irish Water supplies the water to the house as well. I put in a few shut off valves but that did not help me isolate the leak.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    This option would be better. We had our own well before, I can't remember why we stopped using it, maybe it ran dry. At least then if there is a leak it is not costing us anything when it is leaking.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭ Lime Tree Farm

    electricity in the pump house could prove costly too, running twenty four- seven.

  • Registered Users Posts: 27,499 ✭✭✭✭ whelan2

    Op if there's a big leak and it's 2 months since you started this thread, I dont see how Irish water should be expected to pay for a leak on your land that you haven't fixed in that time. If there's a water leak here we narrow it down, divert the supply by that area and fix it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,573 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    The attitude around here is you're allowed one leak, after that you're on your own if you get another one.

    There's agood leak detection guy around here , there should be no excuse for ongoing leaks

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Tbh,one or 2 days replacing the pipes,3 or 4 rolls of 3/4 and fittings

    Not much more than a 1000 euros and be done with it

    You don't have to Bury the pipe

    Pipe may have rose lately but 150 metres was about 150 euros a few months back iirc

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,157 ✭✭✭ jfh

    I've often thought about this, surely there must be some monitor that one could have connected to alert you if on constant

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  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ Still stihl waters 3

    Nearly 5000 lost litres a day for nearly 60 days since you started this thread for god knows how long beforehand and you're looking for a leak allowance, that's disgraceful carry on from anyone, another reason why pipework should be ran surface so fools can see what they're at and not put wasteful stuff like this on the long finger, if there was work on the bed some lads would sleep on the floor

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,855 ✭✭✭ lukin

    I did everything possible to find the leak. The land is rented, I don't work on it full-time, only in the evenings and on weekends; I have a full-time job. I walked the fields several times looking for the leak and I dug up the ground and put in gate valves to see if that would isolate it. I have it fixed there now, there was a hole in an underground pipe, I only spotted it because there was a pool of water where it was but that was one of the areas I checked and there was no pool of water there when I did. There was definitely no surface water there before, it is in a place I would walk past regularly.

    I don't understand how a leak like that would not cause water to come to the surface until two months later. The pipe was buried about three feet down; when water leaks from a pipe I assume it seeps underground first but after a while it will rise to the surface. Obviously it's harder to spot a leak in wet weather when ground is wet. Ground has got considerably drier in the last week or two.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭ Lime Tree Farm

    Pipes running overground are more prone to nicks and accidental damage. We have underground on half the outfarm, with overground along hedgerows further along the farm. They are a proper nuisance, especially when trimming underneath the hedge, the hydrodare is not in a perfect straight line either. Job is on the long finger. I read the meter today, always keeping an eye on it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,971 ✭✭✭ Lime Tree Farm

    I don't have a pump house, mains water. I know my brother-in-law disconnected his pump as soon as the group scheme came into his area. Pump maintenance and pump breakdowns was his biggest problem.