DIY Doctor

Main navigation

Neighbours Mains Water Supply and Sewer Leaking Under Foundations

Postby Mylor13 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:34 am

My first post ever in any forum, so apologise in advance if I have put this in the wrong place
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
19A is my 2 bed property
18B is next door 3 bed downstairs WC

1 Sewer gas odor back drafting around my property
2 Water ingress from under the front of my home
Next door neighbours sewer line is 12 inches from the foundations of my house.
Hepworth inspection manholes

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 HOUSEI 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.

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, 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.
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 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.
White powdery mold growing on my clothing

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. 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, also I find it very odd that they managed to build up against my porch wall with soil in 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!
Both our water meters are situated to the far side of my driveway. 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 etc etc - I would be a 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!
Next door neighbour is a botch job diyer, any 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!
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.
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
Rank: Labourer
Progress to next rank:
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:30 pm


Simply Build It

  • DIY How to Project Guides
  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!

  • Related Topics