OK, so this morning Pat said, "Can you come here a minute, Alan..." - words I always dread.
There was water flowing from a pipe covered by a kind of concrete cover just outside out back door.
I called the plumber and we tried to cut the water off.
We didn't manage to cut the water off - no tap or stop cock made any difference at all. And what is more, our water meter is not turning.
Never mind, the plumber's coming.
He came, he saw, he said "It's got me beat."
Basically until next door has their swimming pool installed there were two water meters and stop cocks at the beginning of our drive. When the pool got installed they moved one of them. Theirs, I assumed. (Fool not to check !)
Now it appears possible that they moved the wrong meter and stop cock and have, in effect, got two meters and stop-cocks on their water inlet and there's neither water meter not stop cock on our supply.
Since we pay by direct debit the same payment every month it has gone unnoticed.
Though we did get a bill to make up the difference at the end of the year...
Anyway we await the arrival of our neighbour to tell us if we have cut off her water. If so then we'll need to
1) stop the leak without cutting off our water.
2) put in a new stop-cock and water meter (at our neighbour's pool-installer's expense, we hope !)
If not then we'll have to try and work out what's happening and why !