Cracked clay sewer pipe - shared soil pipe

Caporegime
Joined
6 Dec 2005
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36,265
Location
Birmingham
What joy I've been having recently.

I live in a terraced house and share a cast iron soil pipe with my neighbour which goes into the ground and sewer on my side.

So since we moved in over 2 years a go we've had a few instances of the pipe becoming blocked so Severn Trent have come out and unblocked it because it's a shared pipe they take responsibility of it. There is a hole in the soil pipe already I presume the previous owners must have had it unblocked and had the pipe cut.

Now Tuesday it blocked up again and because I was off and didn't fancy waiting around for hours for Severn Trent to turn up while **** spewed all over the patio I unblocked it myself. Water was actually coming out of the joins of where my pipe comes out of my wall to the soil pipe so it was pretty blocked up! Power washer drain hose for the win! Any way I thought that sorted it as the water was flowing quite nicely when I looked down the man hole but on Friday it did it again. This time the water level got up to the hole in the soil pipe which is about 5 feet up the pipe. I hadn't tapped it up enough so water was coming out.

So today I started digging out the patio to see where it gets to the sewer pipe. Originally I was thinking that there may not be enough of a bend below ground so waste wouldn't just be piling up and not flowing.

What I've found is that the cast iron soil pipe just goes straight into the clay pipe about 6 inches under ground level. The bend on the clay pipe is minimal before going vertical with the soil pipe joining it.

The clay pipe where soil pipes joins is actually broken and two pieces comes away as I was removing earth. And the hole was completely blocked with **** and earth, so much so that I originally thought it was a plastic insert to fit the soil pipe into the clay pipe. It actually had imprinted lines on from the clay pipe it was that tightly packed! The hole is quite big about 6cm by 6cm or so. So I've unblocked it from there and water is flowing better through the sewer but it's not as quick as I'd expect it to be.

I called Severn Trent and they're going to send out a drain inspection team to look at the drain fully with a camera etc and advice on responsibility.

Because they take responsibility when the soil pipe has been blocked previously does any think they'd fix the clay pipe? Or will they just say it's general wear and tear and be 'our' responsibility?
 
Soldato
Joined
3 Oct 2009
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19,832
Location
Wales
I can't work out where the clay pipe fits in from your description.

If both yours and your neighbours poos are flowing through it, it's the water authorities responsibility. If it's before it reaches the shared part it's yours.
 
Soldato
Joined
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17,141
I can't work out where the clay pipe fits in from your description.
me neither
... sounds like the common iron soil drops vertically into the clay pipe, and that clay pipe is exclusively for you and your neighbour (ie not the whole street)

how come you did not have sewage smell from already broken pipe ? or it would only have escaped when it was blocked/full-up ?

Did neighbour participate in the dig ? so when Severn Trent attend, he can confirm what digging revealed (or you took photos to show them) - they might be surprised you dug ?
 
Soldato
Joined
16 Jun 2005
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18,223
Could you now be in the situation of ST blaming you for cracking the pipe with your digging...
 
Caporegime
Joined
6 Dec 2005
Posts
36,265
Location
Birmingham
The blue line is the bottom of the iron soil pipe.

The red line is the top of the clay pipe and in between the two lines is the space.

m0Qa7Yt.png



... close up ... if you dare ... ?

fP6Jrr3.jpg


Sounds like general wear and tear to me.

Yeah I imagine they'll put it down to that and with the roots etc. Though when they have been out previously they actually tracked a sewer pipe running into the house about 5 feet with roots etc inside as they couldn't get the camera into this particular drain.

The Edwardians are an odd lot.


I can't work out where the clay pipe fits in from your description.

If both yours and your neighbours poos are flowing through it, it's the water authorities responsibility. If it's before it reaches the shared part it's yours.

Yeah it's like the for the whole row of terraces from what I can see. My other neighbours to the right their toilet connects to a soil pipe in their neighbours side.



me neither
... sounds like the common iron soil drops vertically into the clay pipe, and that clay pipe is exclusively for you and your neighbour (ie not the whole street)

how come you did not have sewage smell from already broken pipe ? or it would only have escaped when it was blocked/full-up ?

Did neighbour participate in the dig ? so when Severn Trent attend, he can confirm what digging revealed (or you took photos to show them) - they might be surprised you dug ?

Yeah it's just for our house and the neighbours. Like I say it's blocked up several times and STW have been out twice for it.

3 drains (toilet, waste water & out house) join to 1 which then join the main lateral at someone point down the garden which runs down the terraces.

I guess there's been no smell because its a bit underground and it just blocks up completely, the vent is a roof height.

No my neighbour has been away but I did message her to let her know what was going on.



Could you now be in the situation of ST blaming you for cracking the pipe with your digging...


Maybe, I'm very soft handed though. :) Given they illegally carried out work on my property a few months a go I'd say they owed me one. :D
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Mar 2010
Posts
17,141
Despite being shared with your neighbour, it is surprising they accept responsibility before it intersects with the main street sewer.
- I was in a terrace of three for which we shared responsibility for blockages(nappies) until it joined the street sewer.

Have other folks in the street not had similar problems where STW have had to decide whether they will foot the bill (looks as though it will need several days of works and >£2k)
 
Soldato
Joined
19 Oct 2002
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14,154
Location
Scotland
Despite being shared with your neighbour, it is surprising they accept responsibility before it intersects with the main street sewer.
- I was in a terrace of three for which we shared responsibility for blockages(nappies) until it joined the street sewer.

Have other folks in the street not had similar problems where STW have had to decide whether they will foot the bill (looks as though it will need several days of works and >£2k)

Sewer laterals, more info here https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply...lity-and-ownership/sewer-pipe-responsibility/

The law changed a few years ago which forced a lot of water companies to deal with these.
 
Soldato
Joined
3 Oct 2009
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19,832
Location
Wales
Severn Trent have some of the best in formation on sewer responsibility out of all water authorities. I use their diagram on the link Windle posted to explain to a lot of clients
 
Caporegime
Joined
6 Dec 2005
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36,265
Location
Birmingham
Severn Trent have just come and gone. Stuck a camera in and said the rest of the pipe looks okay. Because it's shared and broken underground they'll repair it. If it had broken at ground level then it would be our responsibility.

So should get a call some time this week to arrange them visiting.
 
Soldato
Joined
10 Jul 2010
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5,123
It might be worth getting your neighbour to check their pipework to see if theirs is okay or just as bad as yours is now.
 
Soldato
Joined
1 Mar 2010
Posts
17,141
will be interesting to hear how they fix it and how long the work takes. (everybodies water/sewage bill will be going up in 2018)
 
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