Hi,I'm looking for a little information or advice in

chris18 Image
09/28/2020 - 05:00


I'm looking for a little information or advice in relation to Gaia, the Italian utility company who supply our water.

We have a house in the hills above Lucca.  We left the house to return to the UK in October 2019.  We returned in August 2020 to find that our water supply had been disconnected by Gaia, as a result of non payment of their bills.  Immediately upon returning in August we paid the outstanding bills and the water was reconnected the next day.  The water meter is in our cantina, it was there when we bought the house.The cantina door was left unlocked and the Gaia plumber must have been able to open the door and simply disconnect the water supply.  When we were reconnected after paying the bill, I noticed that there was a leak from the bottom of the pipe as it emerges from the main water supply pipe in our cantina floor.  The water loss was considerable and I arranged for Gaia to return - they fitted a new pipe, but 24 hours later I noticed that it was leaking again.  Gaia have been out again and have told me:

1.  That I need to pay for a 20 metre trench to be dug from the main water supply across a communal courtyard to the wall of our house to remove the old Gaia pipe and replace it with a new one.  Gaia will remove there old pipe and replace it with a new one.  The trench will be approx 0.5 meters in depth.

2.  They want to move the water meter from the cantina to the front of the house, and they advise me that I will have to pay for that as well.

I have a couple of questions:

1. Am I required to pay for the digging up of the old pipe and in doing so, the creation of the new trench to accommodate the new gaia water supply pipe?

2.  Am I required to pay for the work to relocate the meter from the cantina to the front of the house?

3.  Can Gaia insist upon the water meter relocation taking place?

4.  When we left the house in October 2019, there were no problems with the pipe which was subsequently leaking when we had the water supply reconnected in August.  I suspect that when the water was disconnected ( some time between October 2019 and July 2020) that the pipe may have been damaged by Gaia when they disconnected us, otherwise why would a previously solid and reliable water pipe suddenly spring a leak, if it perhaps was damaged during the disconnection process? 



HI.  Im afraid I know nothing about Gaia.  They dont operate down here, so seeing that its probably a privatised water company I suspect that they can do and say what they like.   Usually the water company is responsible for the supply to the meter,  at least in theory.  Companies can now 'insist' that you place the meter in a place where it is readable and reachable by the water company.   

Usually disconnection involves turning off the water and putting a seal on the tap so it cant be turned back on without breaking the seal.  If they did this, it would be difficult to break the pipe, unless  its aclever way to make more work for themselves. 

I’m not really too sure where I recall this information from or if it could help, but perhaps Modicasa and/or Ugo can confirm if it is true/logical. I understand you can pay someone e.g. plumber/builder to do whatever needs doing for the water pipes, but the company must do the final connection work. I’m pretty sure this was the exact same reason (this time local firm in Abruzzo - ACA) i.e. they were insisting on re-connection being outside of the front of the house.

 I think each company is different.  Here a plumber on an approved list at the comune can do work and replace the meter and connect it, the meter has to come from a listed supplier. The consumer pays for everything.  Obviously it takes numerous letters and forms to get to the position of actually doing the work.  

Here I am, Steve

By law, the consumption meter of each user must be in a place accessible to the technicians of the user, this for two main reasons - 1> the staff responsible for measuring the consumption must be able to read the meter, even when the homeowner is absent - 2> Particularly for water, during the winter, it sometimes happens that with low temperatures the water contained in the meter, turning into ice, increases in volume and shatters the glass that protects the meter - causing copious water losses -
If the meter is inside the house or in a fenced area, not accessible, without the presence of the owner or of personnel appointed by him and available (for example the telephone number displayed above the meter), the personnel in charge of maintenance, will not can repair the fault and the owner will be obliged to pay for all the water leaking from the broken meter.