Victorian Land Drains

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Totallyfedup
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Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:34 am

I would really appreciate your thoughts on a situation I find myself in.

On one side of our boundary fence is technically scrub / wasteland, and this area of land is not currently used.

The problem is this. An old Victorian land drain is broken on our land and also the neighbouring land. The water needs to be diverted via new pipework into another drain on our land. It is impossible to reconnect the existing one as It is broken beyond repair.

Due to the drain breaking down on the neighbouring land, there is also sand and silt in the water running from their land onto ours. The owners of the neighbouring property have told us that we are obliged to take the sand and silt, as well as the water. They are refusing to fit a silt trap. We have also been told that once new pipework is fitted and connected from our land, we would be deemed as accepting the sand and silt.

Does anyone know if this is correct?

Thank you.

Roblewis
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Roblewis » Sat Sep 15, 2018 12:36 pm

Time to look at your deeds and determine precisely what the agreement was when the land drain was installed. If you are fortunate it will state that was for the onward drainage of water and mentions no other materials permitted. You can then repair the drainage on your land leaving the current drain to silt up, as it will do. Inform your neighbour that he can connect to your new drain once he has dealt with the silt problem. Where does this drain continue its onward journey?

Totallyfedup
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:10 pm

Thank you for your response Roblewis.

The deeds are of no help to be honest. The drain in question is well over 100 years old. Even the local council have no record of it in their archives.

This housing estate was built over 40 years ago, so it seems the original drain would have been demolished during the construction process.

As for it's onward journey, if it is still intact, we think it would run under three other houses and into the main gully in the middle of the road.

ukmicky
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by ukmicky » Sat Sep 15, 2018 3:52 pm

You would be expected to take only that which the drain was designed to take through the normal operation. Obviously all drains carry a certain amount of silt which enters the system through normal natural means and a drain is designed to allow that to clear the system . You are not however obliged to accept excessive amounts that enter the system due to the drain on the neighbours side not being fit for purpose and allowing debri to enter the system in a manner that the system was not designed for.

If it was my neighbour I would be tempted to inform them in writing that unless they are prepared to fix their drain and prevent the excessive sand entering the system in a manner the drain was not designed for and you will disconnect yourself from the old system and lay a totally new system just for yourself leaving them connected to the old system and the problem when the old system finally blocks up

Totallyfedup
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:33 pm

Thank you Ukmicky.

This is part of the problem. We think there is too much sand and silt, the neighbouring owners think it is an acceptable amount. Unfortunately, disconnecting from the drain completely is not an option for us. There is a constant flow of water, which is at present being kept at bay by a sump pump. If this is removed it will flood our property within a week.

It looks like we will have to shoulder the cost and take remedial action to deal with the debris in the water, as the neighbours have firmly dug their heels in and will not budge. Taking this down the legal route is not really a viable option, as the 'neighbours' are one of the big boys and unfortunately we are one of the little guys.

arborlad
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by arborlad » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:47 pm

Totallyfedup wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:33 pm
Unfortunately, disconnecting from the drain completely is not an option for us. There is a constant flow of water, which is at present being kept at bay by a sump pump. If this is removed it will flood our property within a week.



Presumably your neighbours are on higher land than you.

That volume of water doesn't sound like a land drain in the accepted sense.
arborlad

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Totallyfedup
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sat Sep 15, 2018 6:40 pm

Yes, arborlad, the neighbouring land is higher than ours.

The drain in question is the old upturned 'u' shape land drain - and they were commonly used in the late 1800's. Apparently, these can drain water forever and a day......

ukmicky
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by ukmicky » Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:17 pm

my opinion this and is based on what I have learnt over the years.

An implied easement which is what they have is a right based on the operation of the drain many years ago when the drain was fit for purpose. It would have permitted them to drain water through your property ,within the drain and exit on land beyond your boundary .

If that is not happening now as the drain is no longer fit for purpose and water is now escaping the drain they don't have an easement for that and the burden placed upon your property has increase to a level that would not have not envisaged at the time of the presumed grant, so would be unlawful. They do not have a right to flood your garden and you cannot be forced to pay for a pump to prevent it.


I would say if they are not prepared to prevent the escape of water from the drain and continue to allow water from it to flood your property they would be causing a nuisance that would be actionable in court. . Of course you would have to prove their water was escaping the drain and causing the flood and would need advice from a solicitor.

Totallyfedup
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:09 pm

Thank you for your advice ukmickey.

The situation is becoming increasingly difficult, so we will take legal advice on this matter to try and find the best way forward.

despair
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by despair » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:32 pm

Have you carefully checked all mortgages, insurances, credit card, union memberships for legal expenses cover

arborlad
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by arborlad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:58 am

Totallyfedup wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:34 am
I would really appreciate your thoughts on a situation I find myself in.

On one side of our boundary fence is technically scrub / wasteland, and this area of land is not currently used.


Thank you.



You describe the land as scrub/wasteland and not used, this type of land would not typically be drained - what was its use in Victorian times?

Do you have access to this land, is there a spring or other water source, something needs to explain what would seem to be an exceptional flow of water in a very dry year.
arborlad

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Totallyfedup
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:47 am

Thank you despair and arborlad.

I need to be careful with details as this could be too outing - and that is the last thing I would want.

We have informed our insurance company of the situation we are in, but at present we are not taking it further forward. This is something we may do in the not too distant future.
The land next to us is scrub / wasteland as the terrain makes it impossible to be used for anything at all. The land further over is built on and used by our neighbours (not housing). Years ago this land was farmland, and we are wondering if there could be an underground stream which could be the culprit. It has been extremely dry but the flow has been constant. We are arranging for CCTV to try and determine the source of all of this water.

Thank you both again for your replies.

arborlad
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by arborlad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:02 pm

Has anyone done a chlorine test on that water?.............relatively cheap and easy to do.
arborlad

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Totallyfedup
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by Totallyfedup » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:00 pm

Hmmm. We had not thought about a chlorine test. Might be worth doing one just in case.

Thank you for that suggestion arborlad.

arborlad
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Re: Victorian Land Drains

Post by arborlad » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:27 pm

Totallyfedup wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:00 pm
Hmmm. We had not thought about a chlorine test. Might be worth doing one just in case.

Thank you for that suggestion arborlad.



Has anyone with a knowledge of water and drainage looked at the problem, they're the sort that would have a test kit in the back of the van.
arborlad

smile...it confuses people

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