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Ownership of surface water gullys

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by vegasgo, 28 Feb 2018.

  1. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    We have a bit of an issue with a broken pipe in our front garden. We live in a semi-rural area of Essex, on a slight hill on a busy road. Since the new year water has been emerging from a muddy bank just past our property and streaming past our front lawn (there is no curb, lawn joins the road) then downhill to the nearest drain. It is noisy, messy and dangerous in the current wintry conditions.


    Essex Highways paid a visit, jetted what they could and but a camera down. There is a 300mm gully under out front garden which runs parallel to the road, which surface water drains to. When the camera reached a section under our drive, it showed the pipe had collapsed and the camera could go no further. When trying to put a camera in the next drain cover which is where the water is escaping from, they could not find it under the woody growth. It seems that once surface water hits the broken pipe, it backs up and emerges from this hidden drain cover.


    Plans showed the gully belongs to Anglian Water. However, they said that as no houses use the gully in question for drainage, it is actually down to Essex Highways to repair. Essex Highways dispute this.


    So, we are going round in circles, no one is claiming responsibility for the broken gully. Our front garden is saturated, our drive is noticeably dropping in places (I believe the pipe has been broken for years and all this rain has finally brought things to the surface so to speak). We moved here two years ago, there was a dip in the lawn along the travel of the pipe I filled in. I was told it was an old ditch that was filled in years ago so thought nothing of it. The house also rumbles when heavy traffic goes by and is getting increasingly worse.


    Any advice where to go from here would be appreciated, thanks.
     

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  3. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    vegasgo, good evening.

    How about you have a go at Environmental health in your area? ask them to sort out the disagreement?

    Ken
     
  4. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    I'm pretty sure if it only does Highway drainage, then it's Highways responsibility. If the drain takes water from properties as well then AW are responsible for the main pipe, Highways are responsible for their gullies and connection's to the main pipe. Essex have sort of admitted responsibility by getting involved in the first place, normally they are quick to offload to AW if its not their issue.

    Environmental Health are unlikely to get involved as its not a foul sewer and technically presents no risk to public health.

    Time perhaps to get your County Councillor involved.
     
  5. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    vegasgo, as above?

    Other areas to have a pop at could be at your MP? and how about a local newspaper? any and all adverse publicity / heat applied could assist you?
     
  6. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    Local MP, papers etc will be the next step. AW could find no evidence of discharge to properties, that's their stance. EH say the gully is on record as belonging to AW and will not budge. All properties around here have septic tanks so I'm siding with AW here.
     
  7. We had a similar issue on a local rural road a few years ago.

    After exhausting all other avenues - a letter (recorded delivery) to pointing out how dangerous the situation was esp. in cold/freezing weather with ice on the road surface and suggesting that in the event of an accident then copies of all previous correspondence and the names of the individuals rejecting the requests for repair would be made available to any persons injured, the insurance companies involved and the local & national press seemed to do the trick.
     
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  8. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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  9. Sadly sometimes blackmail is the only viable route!
     
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  11. KenGMac

    KenGMac

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    newboy

    Unfortunately the little man has little option when confronted by a machine that is hell bent on not spending money to resolve an issue that. that machine is ultimately responsible for?

    The shall I call it "avoidance" of any admition of liability of any sort by all / any water authority is becoming almost legendary they use every possible get out clause possible.

    I was involved in an Insurance claim where Scottish Water sited a 1803 [Yes that far back] Get out court ruling

    These National Companies have become very, very adept at avoiding any sort of Liability

    Ken
     
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  12. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Get your buildings insurance company involved and voice your concerns about health and safety... they could involve some “officialdom” that will put a rocket up the appropriate arseh01es :)
     
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  13. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    Insurance company is a no no - we're already claiming via UKDP on our septic tank that has failed, whilst being a separate issue, needs to tap into that pipe to discharge to (it will be a treatment plant so 97% clean).

    If only EH or AW could be bothered to find this manhole cover that is probably only 15 yards from our house but is buried under years of wild growth. It must be there somewhere as the plan shows show. I feel like having a root around myself, how deep it is though is the question - metal detectors did not pick it up.

    If the only damage is this section of pipe under the drive, surely it's not that big a job to repair anyway?
     
  14. vegasgo

    vegasgo

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    Have already warned about health and safety - it's like an ice rink at the moment. EH have at least have put 'Ice Warning' signs out. Last week with late afternoon sun shining down the road I was completely blinded by the reflection driving home, the surface water made the road resemble a mirror.
     
  15. Make sure that any communication is written (surprisingly, letters can be effective - it's harder to ignore a piece of paper than an email) and that all communication is recorded (date/time/form/content & person)
     
  16. dilalio

    dilalio

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    Take photos, keep a diary of all your correspondence and inform the local rag.

    We’ve a terrible infestation of potholes and burglaries round here at the moment and official ears have only pricked up since the local press started covering the issues.
     
  17. Ian H

    Ian H

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    What you can see on the CCTV is a bodged previous repair.

    Looks like someone has slipped some 4" clay into 6" and sealed it with a bag.

    It could be your responsibility under something called 'riperian right', I probably spelt that wrong. How deep is the pipe?
     
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