QLD Flooding, leaking pipe due neighbour connecting their pipe to our pipe - advice please

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whitecap24

Well-Known Member
17 October 2017
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the next door neighbour higher up on the hill has connected their pipe (during renovations) to our pipe (storm water). we are both in detached houses.

when it rains we now have flooding in our courtyard where our pipes turn 90 degrees (pipe turns at right angles). this only started happening since the neighbour connected their pipe.

the neighbours builder inspected our courtyard. he said that legally he is allowed to connect the neighbour's pipe to the our pipe (apparently he said building laws allow for this).

the neigbour connected 2 pipes together on his property that then join to our pipe. we believe it is the storm water pipe. beforehand, it was just 1 pipe from the neighbour connecting to our pipe.

this has added water flow and water pressure at the flooding site at our courtyard where the pipe turns 90 degrees.

we have tried calling the water company, they are accepting no responsibility.

our insurance company are accepting no responsibility.

it will cost thousands to install new pipes to handle the increased water flow (since neighbour connected their pipe to ours)

if any of the forum experts can advise best way to handle this? we don’t feel we should pay the costs for the new pipes. should we be taking this up with the neighbour or the neighbours builder, or both? is there a precedent that the neighbour or neighbours builder needs to pay for our repair costs or at least contribute 50% toward repair costs?

we are in Brisbane. we have also contacted the Qld Building and Construction Commission to lodge a complaint.

thank you for any advice
 
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whitecap24

Well-Known Member
17 October 2017
15
0
71
beforehand, there was just one pipe from neighbour connecting to our pipe, with no flooding problem on our property. now the neighbour has connected another pipe on their property to that pipe. now we have flooding due to increased water flow and water pressure
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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2,394
the neighbours builder inspected our courtyard. he said that legally he is allowed to connect the neighbour's pipe to the our pipe (apparently he said building laws allow for this).
Call him & ask that he tell you specifically what law allows a builder to do this (you need an act or regulation, plus the section or part number)

Is it leaking every time it rains, just in a downpour?
Who installed the storm water in your courtyard?
Would replacing the 90 degree bend possibly fix the problem if that is where the leak is?
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
282
34
719
I'd be checking first to see whether you have a burdening easement over your property requiring you to allow their use of your stormwater pipes.
 

whitecap24

Well-Known Member
17 October 2017
15
0
71
Thank you for the answer we are very grateful.

im sorry, i have just realised i have not given the correct information of the situation (after seeking clarification from my mother who understand the situation better).

so i will describe it again now

we have an old pre 1950's clay pipe in our courtyard that we don’t use for anything (not stormwater, not sewer). this old clay pipe was used for the house that used to be here. our new townhouse has new pipes.

this old clay pipe ends at the back of our courtyard where it hits a concrete wall and so the pipe does not continue to flow downstream.

the next door neighbour higher up on the hill has connected their stormwater to this old clay pipe! and so because the pipe ends at the back of our courtyard, it is flooding up through the ground and bubbling out through cracks in the pavement courtyard. the flooding is at the point where the pipe makes a 90 degree turn. this is because the pipe opens into an underground pit, where the water in the pit the enters another clay pipe , because pre 1950's the pipes could not be build to turn right angles, thus the need for a pit and 2 separate clay pipes (to overcome the right angle issue)

so when the neighbour connected their stormwater it was too much water and too much water presser flowing into the pit, plus clay pipe ened when it hit the cement wall at the back of our house so the water was being pushed back to the pit.

the brisbane city council have visited our property and they said they don’t recognize/acknowledge this clay pipe, that it appears to be a private arrangement between the 2 properties pre 1950's.

would the key factor be whether this builder had the right to connect the neighbour's stormwater to this clay pipe? surely the builder would have seen on the neighbours property that it also was an old clay pipe that would not be suitable for stormwater? for the last 30 years the neighbour stormwater was being sent to the street , which is the other side of their house from us. the builder didn’t want to connect to that pipe because it was too narrow and is uphill.
 

Atticus

Well-Known Member
6 February 2019
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259
2,394
the next door neighbour higher up on the hill has connected their stormwater to this old clay pipe!
Sounds a bit negligent to me... I would be taking pictures & retaining any evidence of water damage as a result of their actions. May be handy if there is any sort of claim possible in the future.
 

Docupedia

Well-Known Member
7 October 2020
282
34
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A standard condition of building approvals is for stormwater to be conducted to a lawful point of discharge. See this page: Stormwater pollution, runoff and drainage complaints

Particularly note the comments under 'Private stormwater lines' and 'Lawful points of discharge'.
 

Rod

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
27 May 2014
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I'd be writing to the neighbour saying he has used an incorrect point and to fix it. If he doesn't, then you may need the assistance of a Brisbane based lawyer.