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Thames Water missconection

(7 Posts)
user1494569170 Fri 12-May-17 07:15:52

2 days ago Thames Water ran a test at my property which showed my foul water was going directly into the surface water pipe and have been told once I get the letter I have 20 days to fix it.

I bought the house in July 2013. In 2002 the property had an extension on the ground floor and in 2010 had further work done including adding an en-suite. The pipe from here goes to the surface water pipe along with the waste from the kitchen.

In May 2013 the second extension was signed off by the local authority as being upto building regs (which clearly now it is not)

We bought the house because everything was signed off by the council and were actually waiting on the second extension to be signed off before we continued with the purchase.

Council came out and took photographs and wrote a report in which he says he inspected the rear man hole and could see it was a surface water pipe which had foul waste pipes going into it.

Now the council are stalling and saying they didn't have a contract with us or a duty of care so may not be liable.

Anyone come across this and any thoughts. Thanks

johnd2 Fri 12-May-17 13:31:34

Unfortunately for you the house holders is responsible for complying with all the regs. So basically the responsibly is for you to fix the problem, But you might be able to claim off the original plumber who did the work wrong via the previous owners.
But it sounds like a terrible bodge and basic mistake.
It could have been picked up by the surveyor, even on a home buyers survey they lift the drain covers if they can, but that's all worded to avoid liability, so it's a shame they didn't notice.
I think the water co monitor pollution levels in the rivers and watercourses, and if it's too high they start testing streets until they find the misconnection. I guess your area is bad enough now for them to go down the street checking.

johnd2 Fri 12-May-17 13:32:50

I forgot to say you might be able to get an extension of time if you turn off the water supply in the bathroom that's mis connected, as that's a short time to find a builder otherwise.

user1494569170 Fri 12-May-17 14:00:33

I've had drainage specialists out who have ran camera pipes and hopefully found the original foul line near the rear of the premises. It's all the kitchen that has been plumbed into it as well.

The original builder has liquidised the company.

My point with the council is that I wouldn't have bought the house if the work wasn't signed off. This was signed off as we were doing the purchase so there would have been a sold sign at the front (if they did a final site visit as it's 3 years after the initial application)

If the pipe isn't there then this could cost in excess of £7k. Not sure how I'd pay that or why I should

wowfudge Fri 12-May-17 14:23:04

Contact your insurers. Do you have legal cover on your buildings insurance do you know? If so they should help you with the council.

johnd2 Fri 12-May-17 22:21:45

Unfortunately the council are just there to enforce minimum standards for general benefit, there's no contractual or professional liability or a duty of care like there would be with an architect or structural engineer.
If the builder is gone, then there's not much else you can do.
As presents from the previous owners go, that one's definitely in the top 10, but I'm not sure what you can do other than get out the spades.
Good luck, hope you can sort it.

wowfudge Sat 13-May-17 10:37:54

There must be precedent for this kind of thing. Worth the conversation with your insurer.

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