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Surface water drains

Discussion in 'Building' started by xm77, 3 Dec 2019.

  1. xm77

    xm77

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    Anyone know how surface water house drains were commonly done in 1991?

    Scenario:
    Detached house built that year, location England.
    4 downpipes from gutters – one at each corner down to gully traps in the ground and then off to who knows where….
    Architect drawings show surface water is to be taken to two soakaways on either side of house out in garden.
    However the water company’s records say the property is connected to the public surface water drains and the property has been charged waste water rates on this basis.
    Who knows what was actually done and which is correct….

    There are no visible manholes other than those for the foul sewer drains from kitchen/bathroom/cloakroom etc and these have all been opened and checked for flow. Two manholes in road close to each other at a nearby corner so both foul and surface water public sewers clearly exist.

    I’m familiar with soakaways (mostly in much older houses) but not for piped out surface water.
    Would all the pipes from the 4 corners be joined invisibly somewhere or would there be a interceptor chamber/manhole(s) hidden inches (or feet!) below current ground level somewhere at the join(s) before a single pipe goes out to the street: as indeed the foul water drains from the house do?
    I appreciate there is a difference between what should have been done and what might actually have been done
    Is there any likelihood that the local council building regulations records would have any notes/plans?
     
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  3. Notch7

    Notch7

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    discharge into a soakaway unless the soil has low porosity, or you dont have a suitable position for a soakaway.

    Your best bet is to lift up the manholes on your property and put a hosepipe down each of your gullys in turn.
    Its best if you flush the loo when you lift the manholes to check the manholes connect to your house -they should if they are within your boundary, but it cant be assumed.
     
  4. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    No hard and fast rule back then, I suspect whatever was easiest (and cheapest) for the circumstances. I'd have said if suitable Surface and Foul sewers were available outside the property, then both pipes would have been run out together to connect, however, if soakaways were feasible, then costs could have been saved by dealing with rainwater flows on site. First thing I'd now do, is dye test the rainwater gullies, and see if it emerges anywhere in the manholes out in the road.

    If you find it in the Surface Water sewer, then it's game over, if you dont, then further investigation would be wise to prove a point. Might be due a tidy refund from the Water Company.
     
  5. RigidRaider

    RigidRaider

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    You'll get 25% off the sewerage treatment part of your bill.
     
  6. xm77

    xm77

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    Hi all,
    All the manholes on the property have been checked and no surface water from the gully's flows into them.
    So they are all for the foul water and the system is quite conventional. Two drains from either side of house from kitchen and from bathroom plus one from the front from cloakroom all joining in an inspection/manhole on driveway and thence one pipe out to foul sewer in road. All 3 pipe route confirmed by using water in the above rooms.

    Somehow I think the logistics of lifting a large square highway grade manhole of the surface water sewer in the street led alone the H&S aspects with residential street type traffic flowing mean that this one is going to have to remain unsolved. Two of the 4 gullies flow well while the other two are very slow and back up in heavy rain - which prompted my investigations.
    As per my opening post I might try the council on the off-chance anything was recorded and still survives re the drain connections in building regulations approvals.
     
  7. Hugh Jaleak

    Hugh Jaleak

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    Ask a local Drain company or Builder for a quote to dye test your drains. They'll do the donkey work, all you need to do is observe.
     
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  9. ^woody^

    ^woody^

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    Then get the water authority to provide the maps and proof.

    If you are intending to contest the charge and believe the drain layout to be otherwise, then if the water authority won't help, the burden is on you to prove the layout and you will need an independent drain survey to plot the layout and soakaway locations.
     
  10. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Sounds expensive?
     
  11. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Probably about £150 if they can camera down the rainwater gully’s.
     
  12. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Do cameras plot direction?
     
  13. Ian H

    Ian H

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    Not on their own but they have a sonde which gives a signal that can be located with a CAT.
     
  14. Notch7

    Notch7

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    Thanks for the info.....makes purfect sense.
     
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  15. DIYnot Local

    DIYnot Local

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