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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:06 pm 
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NEIGHBOURS MAINS WATER SUPPLY AND SEWER LEAKING UNDER MY FOUNDATIONS

I live in a two bedroomd semi detached property and my party wall is shared with the neighbours who have a three bedroom property with a downstairs toilet, property was built approximately mid 1980s south west uk block built cavity walls.

Image of both properties 19A is my 2 bed 18B next doors 3 bed & downstairs wc
Attachment:
File comment: Image of both properties 19A is my 2 bed - 18B next doors 3 bed & downstairs wc
planpipes_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
planpipes_Easy-Resize.com.jpg [ 133.1 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]

TWO ISSUES
1 Sewer gas odor back drafting around my property
2 Water ingress from under the front of my home
ISSUE 1
SEWER GAS BACK DRAFTING
Next door neighbours sewer line is 12 inches from the foundations of my house.
Attachment:
File comment: Next door neighbours sewer line is 12 inches from the foundations of my house. At the back of the photo the grey and black wall is my home and where the red dividng line is, this is also the line of my wall.
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Mine is on the other side of my house.
There is a ( 1 of 6 identical around my property) 10 inch Hepworth inspection sewer manhole, which I must add is the only one that has no screws in it and can be inspected where as the remaining other 5 have been ignored and brushed aside, nobody could open them I am of the understanding that they are there for the purpose of inspecting. I have no idea which lid is for foul water or grey water. I also understand that these manholes should be inspected on a regular basis what is the point of having them if nobody is prepared to have a look and rejected by South West Water and an RICS inspector environmental health and someone from one of the largest leak finding companies in the UK?
From the day I moved here 20 years ago there has been an awful smell. Believe me when I say it's a long story and I have tried everything this is why I'm writing this now as I'm at my wits end, my health and my home are declining and I need help as soon as possible please. So it is taking me a long expensive path to get to where I am now. It's recently that I've tracked it down so I am trying to express it in the easiest way I know possible.
The disgusting sewer gas odor that permeates my house & wafts around every single corner of it. It's APPARENT WHENEVER THEY USE ANY OF THE PLUMBED UTILITIES IN THEIR HOUSE, I don't know which part of their plumbing all I know is when they are at home it causes this sewer in to my house and it stinks. When they are not home the smell is hardly there, in fact when I have my music playing and I don't know if they're home as I can't hear them BUT I do know they are home because the sewer smell wreaks and wafts its foul stench around my home! So I go to the window and look out I I see one of their cars ,or the the back doors open so they let the dogs out.

ISSUE 2
The water ingress
Much to my dismay I discovered that the mains water supply pipe to my next door neighbours run from the other side of my drive under my front garden under my front porch foundations to promptly enter their property at our party wall where it connects to their downstairs toilet, above which is their bathroom & toilet and then back downstairs to continue the length of the party wall to the other end of the property to their kitchen.
The next point to note is the party wall is always FREEZING cold to the touch and this is all year round.
Does this have anything to do with the fact that their mains water supply pipe enters their property at our party wall and that any leakage from that could be sucked into the breeze block also their water pipes being in this wall I can see no other reason as my water pipes are on the other side of my house which is where my garage is.
I have two windows at the front of my property one for the kitchen and above it one for my spare room they are both uPVC double glazed.
On days when it's very sunny weather, no matter if it's freezing cold or boiling hot, summer, winter etc both the windows at the front of my property become heavily covered in water in side the sealed unit between the two panes of glass.
A great example of this, which I have photos of, is the August bank holiday which was a hot sunny weekend.
Attachment:
File comment: to my horror I could hardly see through my kitchen windows as they were full of water
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Upon returning to my home Sunday evening was it was still sunny, to my horror I could hardly see through my kitchen windows as they were full of water however after 14 hours over drizzly damp night when I went downstairs in the morning my windows were clear, totally clear.
Attachment:
File comment: after 14 hours over drizzly damp night when I went downstairs in the morning my windows were clear, totally clear.
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dryw_Easy-Resize.com.jpg [ 198.66 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]


This only ever happens to these two front windows. All the other windows on my home do not have this problem and I never have condesation on ANY of my windows at any time.

After much reading online I discover to my horror that water pipes are not permitted in party walls!? On top of that I then find out that as these where built in the mid 1980's and back then the pipes would NOT have been sheathed. Makes sense as the builders of these homes where bad at their job! To back this up further, a few years back, surprise surprise, next doors downstairs wc had a water leak. I had already mentioned mold growing on my side of the party wall opposite their wc but they brushed me off. The leak was a pinhole in a copper pipe SET IN CONCRETE IN THE WC FLOOR which is where their main water supply enters their property. THEY HAD IT REPAIRED. CLEARLY IT NEVER CROSSED THEIR MINDS OR THE PLUMBER THAT THIS WOULD ALTER THE PRESSURES ON THE REST OF THE COPPER PIPE AND INEVITABLY CAUSE MORE HOLES?! I despair.
So my questions about this are, does anyone know what the party wall act has to say about water pipes in walls? Is there anything that can be done to see if the neighbours water pipes have to be either re positioned or sheathed.

I store my clothes in my wardrobe (I took the doors off years ago and just have a length of fabric hanging in their place) and drawers and naturally these are against the party wall as one would believe this to be the warmer wall of the four walls of a house the other three being exposed to the elements.
I have photos to try and show the disgusting mess that becomes of my clothes in a few weeks of being cleaned.
Attachment:
File comment: my clothes have a white powdery moldy growth on them,
clothmold_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
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This goes on all year long hot or cold makes no difference my clothes have a white powdery moldy growth on them, there's no odor but it's just disgusting and exhausting continually washing clothes they're getting worn out (as am I) before I even get a chance to wear them in fact I'm so put off even looking at my clothes half the time because every time I do I find more white powdery mildew growing on everything, my heart feels like lead and sinks every time.

Also I have to have containers full of these things called Kontrol Krystals which basically collect moisture. I have one in every single drawer I have three massive ones in my wardrobe I have them under my bed under my dressing table I've got them inside my lounge around my electronic equipment everywhere, in a cabinet, on shelves on the party wall and I have to keep changing them every two weeks because they're full of water.
Attachment:
File comment: Kontrol Krystals which basically collect moisture. I have one in every single drawer I have three massive ones in my wardrobe I have them under my bed under my dressing table I've got them inside my lounge around my electronic equipment everywhere, in a cabinet, on shelves on the party wall and I have to keep changing them every two weeks because they're full of water.
kk_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
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I used to have my dehumidifyer in my bedroom and it made no difference when using the krystals to soak up moisture in the drawers. This happens in the summer and the winter and it makes no difference if there's a drought or a monsoon, it makes no difference.

I have a dehumidifier on 24 /7 which I did have upstairs for years but that has changed now. I have it in the porch where the neighbours mains water supply pipe runs under the foundations of my porch, which is next to my kitchen which is underneath my spare bedroom where all my windows get wet inside. Over the course of two days there will easily be between 8 and 12 litres of water in my dehumidifier every single time I empty it. I do not have this problem with any other windows in my property, so I know that it not to do with my building.
From what I understand it's rare to have another properties mains water supply actually running under another property foundations. I should damn well think so too! Clearly lazy builders, from what I can see there where plenty of other places to lay the water and sewer pipes. But what I don't get is HOW THE HELL WAS THIS PERMITTED AND SIGNED OFF or whatever? Same goes for their sewer pipe being only some 12 inches from my poor already stressed foundations?
Another point to note over the years my next door neighbour has continually complained about her high water bills I believe they are aware there could be a problem with water and sewage but it does not affect their property even though it's all their effluent and foul waste so my belief is they are trying to make sure that they are left out of the equation.
I find it very odd that they have decked and paved their entire front and back gardens, yet for some reason they managed to build up, against my porch wall with soil and make an excuse for a flower bed (the only one in all their property!!) which is just two inches beneath my damp proof course which is also where their stack pipe enters the ground which is also where the manhole is that's 12 inches away from my foundations! Oh and also where the mains water enters their house!
Here are some photos to give you a better idea.
Attachment:
File comment: they managed to build up, against my porch wall with soil and make an excuse for a flower bed (the only one in all their property!!)
MUD2_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
MUD2_Easy-Resize.com.jpg [ 226.21 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]
Attachment:
File comment: which is just two inches beneath my damp proof course which is also where their stack pipe enters the ground which is also where the manhole is that's 12 inches away from my foundations! Oh and also where the mains water enters their house!
MUD1_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
MUD1_Easy-Resize.com.jpg [ 227.28 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]

Both our water meters are situated to the far side of my driveway, please check the attached photo of the buildings layout. When looking inside both of them my one is clean and clear and their one over the last three years plus has been surrounded with thick mud which is coming up from underneath, not the other way round but the water board said that's not unusual and often happens, oh really?!
My front garden is paved with small bricks and I have not bothered to weed it this year, and would you believe it? There is a distinct line of green weeds growing above exactly where the mains water supply pipe runs for next door!

If I had a pound for every single hour that I've spent online trying to find out every aspect of this style of building, how it was constructed by what kind of cowboy outfit but kind of problems it'd bring, what problems are encountered with poor workmanship on groundwork drainage systems, believe me from the onset I've tried everything from the roof downwards. Plumbing, all kinds of water ingress problems through endless investigation and knowledge gathering I have lost very many weeks/months etc etc - I would be a multi-millionaire.
I am angry I am so angry that if it is not resolved soon I will take a pikaxe to these utility pipes myself. I don't think anybody else would be able to tolerate what I have for as long as I have without going barking mad. From the start I have investigated my property and only my property for all these years and it's never had a problem. Being nice and being polite got me nowhere. So this is why I've had to look outside of my property for the reasons to get answers to cure this once and for all. So it's evident that these problems are caused by utilities underground for my NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOURS! WHY WHY OH WHY have these pipes been buried under my foundations. There are about another 30 or so properties of the same 2 & 3 bed design BUT NONE ONE THAT I CAN SEE FROM WALKING AND LOOKING HAS GOT A MASSIVE BODGE JOB LIKE MY PLACE HAS!
Next door neighbour is a botch job diyer, now he has taken it upon himself to re direct the run off from his gutters since he built an extension to the right of his house (it has no guttering to mention). I noticed all the gutters are directed to the left toward my property and all go down the drain that is there along with his sewer line, mains water supply and ALL WITHIN A FOOT OF MY FOUNDATIONS OMG!
First photo of neighbours and how he has changed the flow of his gutters-
Attachment:
File comment: First photo of neighbours and how he has changed the flow of his gutters-
GUTBODG_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
GUTBODG_Easy-Resize.com.jpg [ 218.65 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]

Second photo of the original gutter layout on different house but exact same layout as theirs is-
Attachment:
File comment: Second photo of the original gutter layout on different house but exact same layout as theirs is
ORIGGUT_Easy-Resize.com.jpg
ORIGGUT_Easy-Resize.com.jpg [ 202.97 KiB | Viewed 941 times ]

ULTIMATELY I NEED TO KNOW HOW I CAN GET HIS WATER AND SEWER LINES REMOVED FROM MY UNDER MY PROPERTY WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT PLEASE.
I am 100% SURROUNDED by all my neighbours water, waste water and effluent, to the front of my property I have his mains water under my land and foundations, along with his sewer under my foundation and under my front garden to the sewer in my drive, all his water pipes running the length of the party wall, so thats those two walls. The other two walls, in my back garden his grey water runs just two feet from my back door the length of my garden then turns to run the length of my garage to my drive to meet the sewer water. So thats all of my walls surrounded by their S**T. My water and waste go straight in and out. The attached plan of pipe layout etc should show this. I am beyond distressed. This is ruining my health, my life is spent desperatley trying to free myself from an extremely unfair situation that I have had to struggle with for all these years, infact to the poiint that I have recently managed to discover that mains water and sewerpipes are very very rarely permitted to go under the foundations ofd a neighbouring property. Plus there is loads of room for the pipes to be laid outside of my home. I am literally a knats whisker away from digging down to these pipes myself as actually trying to get any authority or even paid help has left me hardly any choice and this is truly driving me wild. Please help. My life will be altered beyond I belief not having to deal with this much longer and to not breath in air that is saturated with the stench of their sewer wafting around my home. Also they have around 4-6 people in and out all the time, I live alone.
I have had no joy with the council, building control, enviromental health,water company a RICS guy and a guy from one of the UK's largest leak finding specialists each of the last two charged me £500 EACH and they where useless.
Just to add, I am in contact with water company AGAIN am awaiting a call from them, will update when I know more.
There is much more to all this but I have tried to be concise so if any other information is needed please let me know and I will supply it.

I need any help or advise possible please. I could go on as there is so much going on BUT these are my primary concern.
To conclude the smell makes me feel sick, gives me migrains for days on end, makes my eyes water and sting.
Thank you in anticipation for your help


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:19 pm 
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Have you considered moving?



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:54 am 
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I found War & Peace easier reading :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:33 am 
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The windows are easy, the seal on the double glazing unit has failed and they need replacing, (the glass unit, not the whole window).

I know very little about drains so can't really help with that.

I'm surprised that environmental health haven't done more - have they smelt the problem?

Have you tried the Citizens Advice Bureau? They may be able to give you some support, a trouble shared etc etc..

As a general comment, you would get more help (anywhere) if your missive were easier to read, break it up with some paragraphs.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:56 am 
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Hi Mylor,

I woudl advise you firstly to contact a damp proofing firm. They will carry out checks to see if you are drawing damp and offer up solutions. I think you also need to investigate the condensation issues and whether your lifestyle is contributing to this. This could be leaving doors open when cooking, wet towels and shower steam and leaving clothes to dry on airers etc.

Generally most new properties will have wayleave rights in the deeds for utility companies to cross property boundaries.

You need to get a view on the damp issues first in my opinion.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Too much text there. It's an extremely difficult read.
I'm not trying to be rude, but there is a lot of stuff in there that isn't really relevant to why you have these problems.
All I can say is if you are in the SW of England, (Cornwall from your username?) then you will have problems with damp. Everyone I know does to a greater or lesser extent. The clothing in the wardrobe is typical.
As DWD says the double glazing units have "blown" if they get condensation between the panes of glass. Fairly cheap replacement.
Otherwise you seem to have had specialists look at most things, without finding much wrong. You seem to be looking for problems everywhere there might be a pipe or drain. I doubt very much if you're going to get anyone to dig up and remove existing water pipes and drains without good evidence that there is a problem.
As for walls being "freezing" I have just measured the temperature of the wall here where I'm sitting. Block wall, papered, between two rooms. No insulation. It feels "cold" but measuring with an IR thermometer it's 17'5 degrees. The air temperature is 18 degrees.
Sorry to not be any more help, but I seriously think that you need to step back from these problems, take a deep breath, and try to decide what actually is a problem, and what you are seeing as a problem.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:51 pm 
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billion percent the double glazed units are knackered. they need replacing.

you need to speak to your neighbours and have a look in these manholes to see whats happening.

you also could do with some test bungs which ya can get from screwfix to test the drains.

zero chance of having those pipes moved i would have thought.

incoming pipes in concrete should be sheathed and if copper protected as the concrete can react with the copper. having said that the incoming pipe to my aunties house is copper. the house is 60 years old and the pipe into the house is fine though we did have to repair it under ground.

the water company can listen to the pipes with a staf on the stop tap outside to see if they can hear any water passing. weve had success via this route in the past on water leaks.

i guess ultimately you need to buy some new double glazed units.

speak to the water board to see if they can listen for any leaks. similar to how a mechanic might use a stethoscope to listen for failing bearings. or a doctor to listen to your heart.

get someone to check your drains or do it yourself.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:52 pm 
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do you dry your clothes inside on radiators?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:08 pm 
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To be brutally honest................

You have issues in your own property that need rectifying first

1. Your double glazing needs replacing as the units are blown
2. Your damp and moisture issues are due to the lack of ventilation
3. When was the last time you cleaned your traps out on the bath/basin/shower and sinks, have you checked your own soil stack and air admittance valve (common for a 1980's builds to have internal vent stacks)
4. Have you had your own roof checked for leaks and have you had the gutters cleared


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:54 pm 
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@ OP, as per Flashs post check internals first. even a small leak on a waste or compression joint can cause problems.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:52 pm 
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Ok, I have re done this post in a much more concise slimmed down version, plus an update, it has a different title, so I hope I'm right in thinking that posting as a new post is the correct way to go?


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1. There are two utility pipes buried beneath my semi detached property, under my entrance hall foundations and front garden. One is for mains water the other is a sewer pipe. Neither of these pipes connect to my property in any way they are solely for the benefit of the property next door to me.
Please do not forget that these pipes have nothing to do with property in any way whatsoever.
2. There are easements in place for the pipes
3. Both or one of these pipes are leaking deep underground and affecting my property and health. There is obviously a very small leak from maybe a hairline fracture or bad connection, ground movement, at some point along either of these pipes.
4. What would be my reasons for suspecting that these pipes are defective and not fit for purpose?
a) Strong sewer gas odor that wafts around inside my property mainly with my neighbours are using any of their plumbing. N.B. I know for a fact that the neighbours can't smell sewer gas, for the simple fact that their sewer does not disturb their land.
b) There is excess moisture which is evident on the land to the front of my property which has thick green lush foliage growing directly above both the water and sewer lines.
c) My entrance hall, situated at the front of my house has the water and sewer pipes buried underneath it. I have a dehumidifier placed directly above the path of both pipes. It is on constantly 24/7 and from inside this porch area its collecting 10 litres of water every two days without fail no matter what the weather is hot or cold summer or winter.
5) This problem has been going on for a long time. It has taken a long time, by a process of elimination to pinpoint where these problems stem from.
6) My property clearly hasn't subsided yet and the leak has not opened up enough to cascade torrents of water about the property.
6) These problems that I have endeavoured to get to the bottom of require that I find a way of getting this awful problem fixed, yet I am up against some big hurdles. I have trace & access cover on my house insurance. I can't get them to come and have a look and trace and access the health nuisance because they want evidence that it's causing damage and because there is not a massive amount of damage that's clearly visible to them it seems it does not satisfy my request in any way. How on earth am I supposed to prove the noxcious smell of sewer gas vapour? More than anything this is the first problem that I must get sorted as a matter of urgency. How can anybody possibly be expected to live in conditions with the stench of foul sewer gas wafting around inside their home? I have been to Environmental Health, South West Water a number of times only to be sent back and forth. It's like banging my head against a brick wall no one, absolutely no one, is taking any notice of my situation, therefore I find I can not get guidance, help or any advise. If it was something that I had the ability to do myself I would be doing it, no matter what.
7) I cannot for the life of me understand what the authorities do not understand and why they will not help me in some way? Is my only choice to take a pickaxe and dig and excavate the ground myself to find the problem so that these people will listen to what I'm saying. If yes, then I'm starting immediately. I'm at a loss, I despair. I really don't know what my options are. Any input, advice, knowledge, anything that anyone can add? I'm very grateful and thank you in anticipation for any help.
8) Quick update I had a phone call from the complaints department of Southwest Water this afternoon. They categorically state that the sewer pipe that runs under my property to my neighbours is not their responsibility in any way shape or form. Apparently that has to do with environmental health. I'm not prepared to go on this merry-go-round again.


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As it's an update to the previous thread and not a new topic, I've merged the two.



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:20 pm 
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So you need to take that information to environmental health and sleek to your neighbour

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Assuming you have a mortgage and buildings insurance let them sort it out, its post 1936 so your responsible for any pipe work across your property and you have to bear that cost, how deep are the drains ? dig up and inspect, when you say run under the hall not sure what you mean ?

looking at the neighbours stack is it could be them causing the issue

where is the main interceptor where the drains drop into the main sewer ? front left on your property ?

imho, lack of communication with you neighbour is one of the issues, you need them onboard to resolve the problem

Do you have a copy of Original building plans for the plot ?



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