Responsibility for the pipes supplying clean water is shared between us and property owners.

Water mains are the large pipes that distribute water around our network. They are most often laid under public highways but are sometimes laid in fields and footpaths. We are responsible for maintaining these pipes.

The service pipe connects properties to our water mains. The ownership of the service pipe is divided into two parts, the communication pipe and the supply pipe;

  • The communication pipe carries water between our water mains and the boundary of the street in which the main is laid. If an external stop-tap has been fitted, this normally marks the end of the pipework that is our responsibility and is the responsibility of the property owner. Not all properties will have their own stop-tap in the footpath but where one has been fitted, this is normally our responsibility to maintain.
  • The supply pipe is the pipe that carries water from our pipework into the property. Supply pipes run from the boundary of the property (where there may be an external stop-tap) up until the first water fitting or stop-tap inside the property. Stop-taps along the length of the supply pipe, and any water fittings, are the property owner’s responsibility to maintain. Common supply pipes feed more than one property. Find out more about common supply pipes.

Responsibility for different types of water pipes is shown below. Occasionally there may be exceptional cases. If you are unsure then contact us and/or consult the deeds to your property to find out more.

Type of pipe Normally laid under: Responsibility
Water mains A road
Land owned by someone else
Manx Utilities
Communication pipe A road 
Manx Utilities
Supply pipe serving a single property A road
Property owner's land
Land owned by someone else
Property owner
Shared supply pipe serving more than one property (common supply pipe)  A road
Land owned by any of the property owners served by the pipe 
Land owned by someone else
Joint responsibility of all property owners served by pipe

Image shows who is responsible for which water pipesStop taps 

External stop taps are our responsibility. They form part of our distribution network and should only be used by the public in an emergency, for example, if you are unable to find or operate your internal stop tap and need to turn off your water supply. The external stop tap is often located at the boundary of your property, perhaps in the footpath or verge. If you notice that the external stop tap is broken or leaking please contact us on (01624) 687687 and we will investigate.

Internal stop taps are your responsibility. They allow you to turn off your water supply in an emergency. We recommend you know where your stop tap is and how to work it. Their location may vary depending on property age but they are usually found under the kitchen sink. If you can't find or operate your internal stop tap, you will need to contact a plumber.

Sure Stop stop taps

Commissioner/council houses on Island which have had kitchens refurbished are having Sure Stop stop taps installed rather than traditional stop taps. They are effectively just a switch near to the sink which will isolate the supply and they look like this:

image of a Sure Stop stop tap