I have a question to help me better understand any obligations and/or legal points on a shared private water main in a mid-terrace property.
My house is an old (c1800) stone cottage which is in the middle of a terrace of 3. When looking at the front elevation, the house to the right is #1, I am #2 and to the left is #3.
All 3 houses are serviced by an old lead water main spur which traverses "private" land from a Thames Water mains point some 200m from my boundary, and which enters house #1 first, then enters into my house (#2) in my kitchen with a stop-cock before providing water to my plumbing. My water main riser is 1/2" lead and continues to be lead (servicing kitchen sink, etc) then surface mounted along my kitchen floor, up the kitchen wall into bed-3, along bed-3 into the bathroom, until it gets to the bath where it becomes std size copper for the rest of the plumbing network (including combi). House #3 is serviced from a "spur" just below my stop-cock in the kitchen which runs, surface-mounted, along: my kitchen floor; up my kitchen wall; through my kitchen ceiling; into my bed-3 (which is above the kitchen); through my Bed-3 wall skirting, and; then into house #3. There is also no means of isolating the supply to #3 at any point within my property.
We are going to have an extension done soon where I will laying a trench, ducting and suitable pipe work ready to introduce a new single dedicated water main service to my property at a point in time in the future, and we have designed a schematic such that the existing pipe work in the kitchen will become redundant and replaced via different routes from the new design when the new main becomes active at a point in time after the extension is completed. This will enable me to shut off the current mains provision very easily. We will also get a new kitchen at some point in the next 5 years or so, and when we do it is our intention to remove all redundant pipe work from our current configuration and connect to the new proposed schematic. However, I have a few concerns that I want to address and wondered if there is any experienced people on here who could advise:
1) I am concerned that there appears to be no means to isolate house #3's mater main in the event of a rupture - this could cause significant flooding and damage if it did. Am I responsible for this pipe even though it's nothing to do with my service?
2) When we come to re-do the kitchen, I do not want to design it around a single surface mounted old lead pipe that is nothing to do with services in my property, let alone the rupture risks. Again, what obligation might I have for this private service to my neighbor @ house #3?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance