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Neighbour complaining about water
Old 06-18-2007, 07:13 PM   #1
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Neighbour complaining about water

Just today my neighbour complained that he has been getting water near the front of his house right by his driveway. There is a retaining wall between where my house and his house begins, and I saw for myself that there is a water stain on that wall and the ground beneath that stain is very waterlogged to the point of being muddy.

We live on some sloped land...I"m the third lowest home, and he is the second lowest home on this slope. His driveway is approximately 5 feet lower than mine I would guess. He said that this has been happening for the last year. Both our homes were built in the mid 80's so it's weird that this is happening now. Also I regraded my lot about four years ago and passed a city grading inspection....at the time I also installed weeping tile on that side of my lot. One thing that has changed is that to my right were two empty lots until last year at which time someone had built a house on one of the lots (the lot right beside me is still empty). This is the only thing I can thing of that has changed. He told me that he was calling the city out to inspect what is going on (for free) and that he would then talk to me about "splitting the bill for any kind of work". I would think the discussion should also involve the owner of the new house since none of these problems existed before that house was built....although like I said, it's my house an empty lot and then the new house, so it might not be the new house casuing issues since it's two lots away from my neighbors house.

Another thing I've noticed in the last year is that in the morning, the front of the sidewalk in front of my house is wet with water....it's not too bad, but enough that it causes a couple of wet spots on the sidewalk/curb. I haven't noticed any water leakage in my basement, so I have no idea where this water is coming from and can only suspect it has something to do with the new house. Anyone have any ideas as to what is going on? I will try to maybe upload some pics so it's easier to see what I'm talking about.
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Old 06-18-2007, 07:30 PM   #2
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Unless its been raining a lot lately, and the whole slope is saturated, I'd say it's much more likely that there is a small leak in a city-to-house water line. Even a small leak will slowly saturate the ground around it over time, and will appear whenever the evaporation rate is less than the leaking rate.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:51 PM   #3
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Unless its been raining a lot lately, and the whole slope is saturated, I'd say it's much more likely that there is a small leak in a city-to-house water line. Even a small leak will slowly saturate the ground around it over time, and will appear whenever the evaporation rate is less than the leaking rate.
Ditto that. Having w*rked in water and wastewater for just over 30 years, and having had to go out and do inspections of 'mysterious' water leaks, puddles, seepages, and that sort of thing.....it sounds like a water service leak. A city inspector should be able to make the determination fairly easily.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:54 PM   #4
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Have your water provider come out and read each of your meters. They should be able to spot any variance between the meter and your homes. The other option is that the leak is on the provider side of the line. No one wants a water line leak.
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:30 PM   #5
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Just today my neighbour complained that he has been getting water near the front of his house right by his driveway. There is a retaining wall between where my house and his house begins, and I saw for myself that there is a water stain on that wall and the ground beneath that stain is very waterlogged to the point of being muddy.
We live on some sloped land...I"m the third lowest home, and he is the second lowest home on this slope. His driveway is approximately 5 feet lower than mine I would guess. He said that this has been happening for the last year.
He told me that he was calling the city out to inspect what is going on
Another thing I've noticed in the last year is that in the morning, the front of the sidewalk in front of my house is wet with water....it's not too bad, but enough that it causes a couple of wet spots on the sidewalk/curb. I haven't noticed any water leakage in my basement, so I have no idea where this water is coming from and can only suspect it has something to do with the new house. Anyone have any ideas as to what is going on? I will try to maybe upload some pics so it's easier to see what I'm talking about.
It sounds like an underground water pipe has cracked or corroded through and the water pressure has been supplying a self-excavating water jet that's been digging its way to the surface. Tell the utility repair crew to hustle up-- it should break through the sod and make its presence known any day now.

At least you hope it's water. Does it smell like sewage?

About eight years ago I was driving to work before sunrise. Ford Island Building #39 is a Navy aircraft maintenance facility that was built in the 1920s. When I pulled up I was admiring the way the moonlight reflected off the parking lot's fountain pond.

Then I remembered that the parking lot had never before had a fountain or a pond. Luckily we shut off building power before the switchboards went under.

When they dug up the lot, the water piping looked like swiss cheese. In retrospect we'd had plenty of warning signs, like wet spots on the asphalt and muddy grass median strips.
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:47 PM   #6
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I just noticed that you are on a slope. This can really be a serious problem, notify your water utility immediately. About 15 years ago a water main broke near a hill in Portland and sluiced a house down hill.

Because no one spotted the break and give the City adequate notice they were not liable.

Their homeowners insurance asserted no coverage either as soil stability isn't a covered risk. Need I say that they there was a fight about that....
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Old 06-19-2007, 06:54 PM   #7
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Hey,

What about lawn irrigation system leaking. I had my last yard aerated and a couple of relatively small smiley's leaked a S*&T load and flooded my side yard pretty good. Only leaak when main valve is open but amazing the amount of water

Also what about gutters and down spouts. My new house had 2-3 inch deep puddles after most rains. (If the 2 new houses have them and yours too, this could also do it). I put peforated pipe and have the down spouts directly into them and diverted into the pond behind me. Had a few 3-4 inch rains and no puddles..

Good luck,

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Old 06-19-2007, 07:08 PM   #8
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Hey,

Also what about gutters and down spouts. My new house had 2-3 inch deep puddles after most rains. (If the 2 new houses have them and yours too, this could also do it). I put peforated pipe and have the down spouts directly into them and diverted into the pond behind me. Had a few 3-4 inch rains and no puddles..
W
Another oh, no!

Many old sewer systems were combined with storm water. Now cities are requiring that storm water be contained on site. This is causing saturation because the % of permeable surface has been significantly decreased. This saturation is contributing to hills sliding, water in crawl spaces or basements.
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Old 06-19-2007, 08:10 PM   #9
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You guys are some kinda bad juju. Noticed we had a water main line leak on our side of the meter at our 16 unit yesterdayafternoon. It did not improve overnight:
<a href="Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket" target="_blank"><img src="http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e7...i/Image007.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>
<a href="Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket" target="_blank"><img src="http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e7...i/Image005.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>
<a href="Image hosting, free photo sharing & video sharing at Photobucket" target="_blank"><img src="http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e7...i/Image006.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>
Good ol' black poly main, about 2 1/2" AIR, luckily it's under blacktop and concrete, which should help reduce my taxes next year...
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Old 06-19-2007, 09:41 PM   #10
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Isn't this the house in Edmonton that's now worth $500K? I'll side with Brat and say have it checked, ASAP.
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:26 PM   #11
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You guys are some kinda bad juju. Noticed we had a water main line leak on our side of the meter at our 16 unit yesterdayafternoon. It did not improve overnight:........
Good ol' black poly main, about 2 1/2" AIR, luckily it's under blacktop and concrete, which should help reduce my taxes next year...
You did turn off the water at the meeter, right?

Water line leaks NEVER improve.

Another boatyard funny: The fellow who painted his hull with exterior household paint was painting a steel hull. After it was launched he noticed water in the bilge. He said, "No problem, the hull will swell."
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:58 PM   #12
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You guys are some kinda bad juju. Noticed we had a water main line leak on our side of the meter at our 16 unit yesterdayafternoon.
Nah, this thread just prepared your mind so that fortune could favor you.

Although the leak doesn't seem to have been very hard to find...
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Old 06-20-2007, 12:55 AM   #13
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You did turn off the water at the meeter, right?
Water line leaks NEVER improve.
...
Nah - tenants get cranky about not having water. One tenant was pretty preturbed because we're going to have to dig up the line in her parking spot. Presumptuous of us to ask her to park across the street. Tomorrow should be a fun day. Three feet down under asphalt and compacted gravel and a nice lake under the asphalt keeping the hole full as it's dug.
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Old 06-20-2007, 05:10 AM   #14
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Another oh, no!

Many old sewer systems were combined with storm water. Now cities are requiring that storm water be contained on site. This is causing saturation because the % of permeable surface has been significantly decreased. This saturation is contributing to hills sliding, water in crawl spaces or basements.
I'm in a PUD and all the water from all the roads is channelled into man made ponds like mine. It is well designed with overflow basins and are all interconnected via a bunch of "streams" and eventually end up in the Atlantic.

I had the design review board approve it before instalation.

We have town sewer.

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Old 06-20-2007, 09:43 AM   #15
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Wally, our situation is not common. I too am in a PUD with a storm water management system. What is most frequent is that cities are not managing storm water, except that which falls on their right-of-ways, and residents are prohibited from directing storm water that originates on private property to public property.
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:36 AM   #16
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Once there was a break on our side of the meter, so that instead of the normal 400 gallons or so, we'd used something like 25,000 gallons.

At the bottom of our monthly bill it read: "Thanks for continuing to conserve water!"

We didn't have to pay for it.
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Old 06-20-2007, 11:02 AM   #17
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:15 PM   #18
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Tom Mudinsaki has a new book arriving: The Millionaire Ditchdigger Next Door. We found our mainline leak by dint of chasing it through the asphalt. It's good to have a ditchdigger to hire to work alongside me. Given that the plumber is $90/hour I was willing to get in the hole. Note the small fountain - and that's maybe 10 minutes after the water was shut off. Lots of spare water in the lines in a two story set of apartments.
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e7...k/Image000.jpg
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e7...k/Image001.jpg
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e7...k/Image002.jpg

Tenants have water again. Now to find out what a paving company will ding us.
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Old 06-20-2007, 09:27 PM   #19
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We found our mainline leak by dint of chasing it through the asphalt.
Tenants have water again. Now to find out what a paving company will ding us.
Ugh-- looks like the leak came looking for you!

Was the water pipe protected from movement caused by traffic above it? Did the leak get started by a heavy vehicle crushing the dirt & substrate under the asphalt?

I'm going to have to add this photo to my pile of "Top 10 Reasons To Sell The Rental Property"...
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Old 06-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #20
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Ugh-- looks like the leak came looking for you!

Was the water pipe protected from movement caused by traffic above it? Did the leak get started by a heavy vehicle crushing the dirt & substrate under the asphalt?

I'm going to have to add this photo to my pile of "Top 10 Reasons To Sell The Rental Property"...
There were several small nicks in the line at the split - looked like shovel scars from installation - but that was almost 30 years ago! Backfill had large softball sized and bigger rocks mixed in, but the inside of the line didn't have any intrusive bumps like I would have expected from a pressure point type split. Asphalt hadn't shifted and only got car traffic in line with the water line rather than across it. Pretty convinced that the problem is due to our having the lot seal coated and striped last year, under the car washing causes rain law. Pictured is our duty Randy: He mows! He digs! He cleans! He breaks tools with great abandon!
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