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  1. #1
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    Default Party Line Sewer

    Last edited by matt c; 10-02-2009 at 08:11 PM.
    Inspection Referral

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by matt c View Post
    The plumber and I went and talked to the neighbors when we found out what the problem was and they stated it wasn't there problem because the break isn't on their property.
    I would have your plumber cut the line off at YOUR property line, and cap it.

    The plumber told them most likely what will happen is that the city will make them replace their lines and abandon the old one.
    I suspect your plumber is correct, and, being as the line is on your property, VERY SHORTLY AFTER your plumber caps their line they will come screaming out about why their toilets do not flush.

    That is when you remind them that YOU tried to work with THEM, but THEY said it was YOUR problem ... so YOU fixed YOUR problem, and THEY now need to fix THEIR problem.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    ...............

    Last edited by matt c; 10-02-2009 at 08:11 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    I would check into the legalities of this before proceeding. It is possible that there is an agreement or easement in place and you might be forced into paying for everything if you go about it in the wrong way. Just my 2 cents.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    ......................

    Last edited by matt c; 10-02-2009 at 08:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I would have your plumber cut the line off at YOUR property line, and cap it.



    I suspect your plumber is correct, and, being as the line is on your property, VERY SHORTLY AFTER your plumber caps their line they will come screaming out about why their toilets do not flush.

    That is when you remind them that YOU tried to work with THEM, but THEY said it was YOUR problem ... so YOU fixed YOUR problem, and THEY now need to fix THEIR problem.
    I would caution you AGAINST doing what the first responding poster has suggested (quoted above) without further investigation and NOTICE to your neighbors as well as consultation and permit from the authorities having jurisdiction. Missouri Valley didn't always have a sewage treatement plant, private and grouped septic used to be the norm. I certainly wouldn't proceed without at a minimum discussing it with the building department.

    I also wouldn't assume there isn't an easement, restriction or covenant, existing, whether or not it is recorded (example, unrecorded agreement, a prior consented taking when sewer connections previously installed, land rights can be acquired over time as well such as squatted or encroachment over time). It would be a good idea to check that before interfering with what presently exists and what rights you do and do not have, regarding the neighboring connections. You could discover that your garage has been constructed overtop of an existing easement or is the "encroacher"!

    Yes, in rural and formerly rural areas it is not uncommon to find shared septic and/or formerly shared septic connections later converted to connections to a municipal or county sewer system later extended to a previously unconnected or remote area. Initial connections to a later extended system were/are often costly. And regarding common hookups, shared sewer distribution, and easements that may or not be recorded, Yes in rural areas and older areas, that is very common to come across a shared sewer to distribution. (I've come across this most often on former farmsteads which were later subdivided long after additional homes and buildings were errected, to later deed-off the individual residences, often originally to grown children of the prior owners - sometimes by the estate in probate proceedings).

    With such a vintage property the covenants between neighbors or easements may or MAY NOT have been recorded and may or may not be shown on subdivisions or deeds of the past (IOW it might not have been carried forward on newer deeds or newer records).

    Those on the east coast ("older states"), are often not aware of midwestern and western customs and experiences, such as shared septic systems, shared private wells, and especially the "water rights" (or lack thereof) issues, etc. that are not encountered on the east (or not separated from the "land" ownership as they often are out west). Especially those often encountered in western Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado.

    Although the greater Omaha/Council Bluffs area has spralled out its developed in recent decades, even your small (approx. 800 families according to the chamber) city of Missouri Valley still doesn't have sanitary and all utility access to 6% or so of properties already developed according to the Chamber and is promoted as having more "rural" qualities.

    Some info you might find helpful and may or may not apply to your own situation follows below:

    http://www.harrisoncountyia.org/information/countryliving.html#Access

    From the county site link above:

    3.2 "Easements may require you to allow construction of roads, power lines, water lines, sewer lines, etc. across your land. There may be easements that are not of record. Check these issues carefully."

    3.7 "Many subdivisons have covenants that limit the use of the property. It is important to obtain a copy of the covenants (or confirm that there are none) and make sure that you can live with those rules. Also, a lack of covenants can cause problems between neighbors."

    3.11 "If you have a drainage district ditch running across your property there is a good possiblity that the owners of the ditch have the right to come onto your property with heavy equipment to maintain the ditch.

    "Harrison County Environmental Health Department is charged with enforcing the county nuisance codes, call Matt Pitt to report health-related situations. 644-2302."

    And from the chamber's city site building department links:

    Building Department:
    Building Permit Required
    Any owner, contractor, or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, change the occupancy of a building or structure, or change the use of land which is regulated by the adopted building Codes, or to cause any such work to be one, shall first make application to the Building & Safety Division and obtain the required permit.

    Before Building or Remodeling
    *Check with the Building Divison for setbak requirements and proper zoning.
    *Contact Iowa One-Call (800-292-8989) to make sure your plans do not disturb underground utilities
    *Make an applicaiton for a building permit. Application are available at the City Clerk's office, 223 E. Erie Street.

    Work Exempt from Gas, Electrical, Mechanical & Plumbing Permits
    Plumbing
    The stopping of leaks in drains, water, soil, waste or vent pipe, provied, however, that if any concealed trap, drain pipe, water, soil, waste or vent pipe becomes defective and it becomes necessary to remove and replace the same with new material, such work shall be considered as new work and a permit shall be obtained and inspection made as provided in the adopted Codes.

    The clearing of stoppages or the repairing of leaks in pipes, valves or fixtures and the removal and reinstallation of water closets provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.

    Emergency Repairs
    Where equipment replacements and repairs must be performed in an emergency situation, the permit application shall be submitted within the next working business day to the Building and Safety Divison.

    Required Inspections
    Inspections require a 24 hour notice. Call the Building Division at 712-642-3502 to shedule required inspections.




    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-26-2009 at 01:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    I would caution you AGAINST doing what the first responding poster has suggested (quoted above) without further investigation and NOTICE to your neighbors

    As usual, Watson first must try to say something negative about other posts before providing additional information.

    I'm also guessing Watson either did not read, or ignored this in the original post:
    Quote Originally Posted by matt c View Post
    The plumber and I went and talked to the neighbors when we found out what the problem was and they stated it wasn't there problem because the break isn't on their property.
    NOTICE WAS GIVEN to the neighbors, who rejected it and put it all back onto him.

    Now, would it be better to tell them "I am doing as you suggested, I am going to have the sewer line from your house which goes through my yard and is leaking into my basement cut off and abandoned as THAT WILL FIX MY PROBLEM ... WHICH YOU TOLD ME IT WAS. Take this as my acknowledging your statement. I also suggest you call a plumber pronto as YOU WILL WANT YOUR plumber there to connect your house to the city sewer when MY PLUMBER SOLVES MY PROBLEM."

    And .. OF COURSE ... (sigh, what an idiot that guy is) ... OF COURSE a permit would need to be pulled, which means the city would know what is going on.

    Jeez, just like I've said in the past, that man simply cannot contribute without first trying to make someone else look bad or wrong, guess he thinks that makes him look better or right? It does not, but, ... oh well ...

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    I'm with Jerry on this.. The man Has sewage backing up into his home

    This is a safety issue and needs to be address A.S.A.P. He has the plumber as a witness... time to go to work and fix the problem fast...

    Best

    Ron


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Just one thing, the repair person and property owner already KNOW that the "repair" is not the correct and full repair.
    Yeah, I agree that it needs to be done yesterday since it is sewage.
    My fear is that doing the partial "repair" will have the effect of denying the neighbors of the use of a possibly legitimate easement.
    Let that go to court and the shet will really hit the fan and there will be a whole lot more shet to deal with that will cost a bunch more money that just dealing with the situation correctly the first time.

    It just may be that the correct and legal repair would be to replace the existing drain line if that is what is written into the original easement agreement, if there is one.
    Crap runs down hill and it sounds like the OP is at the bottom of the hill, just plugging the line may not be the best solution long term. Sometimes you have to do the right thing even if your neighbors act like turds.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by matt c View Post
    We had a new line put in on a different spot of the property and left the old line because it is under my garage floor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    My fear is that doing the partial "repair" will have the effect of denying the neighbors of the use of a possibly legitimate easement.
    I agree IF there is a utility easement, however, with it running under his garage floor, there should not be any easement under any structure, including a garage. Nor is even a concrete or asphalt drive allowed over an easement as when a repair needs to be done within the easement, they do not replace the concrete or the asphalt. Which is why the easement run under the street, down side property lines, and along back property lines.

    If there is an easement, his sewer pipe would run out to the easement and join the sewer pipe on that side from that neighbor. Not BOTH neighbors.

    Also, if what I stated was done, the permit would provide the information on the easement, so if there were any problems, they would be addressed then. Now if the easement is not known to the city, there is no way the homeowner would be expected to know it.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck
    As usual, Watson first must try to say something negative about other posts before providing additional information.

    I'm also guessing Watson either did not read, or ignored this in the original post:
    Quote:

    "The plumber and I went and talked to the neighbors when we found out what the problem was and they stated it wasn't there problem because the break isn't on their property."


    NOTICE WAS GIVEN to the neighbors, who rejected it and put it all back onto him.

    Now, would it be better to tell them "I am doing as you suggested, I am going to have the sewer line from your house which goes through my yard and is leaking into my basement cut off and abandoned as THAT WILL FIX MY PROBLEM ... WHICH YOU TOLD ME IT WAS. Take this as my acknowledging your statement. I also suggest you call a plumber pronto as YOU WILL WANT YOUR plumber there to connect your house to the city sewer when MY PLUMBER SOLVES MY PROBLEM."

    And .. OF COURSE ... (sigh, what an idiot that guy is) ... OF COURSE a permit would need to be pulled, which means the city would know what is going on.

    Jeez, just like I've said in the past, that man simply cannot contribute without first trying to make someone else look bad or wrong, guess he thinks that makes him look better or right? It does not, but, ... oh well ... Today 02:19 PM

    Transactions, and that includes NOTICE, involving Real Estate, must be reduced to a writing.

    Verbal doesn't cut it, not in the world or real estate.

    As referenced, easements, covenants, and restrictions may NOT be recorded for a property of this vintage, according to the County of Record (previously Quoted county web site and provided a link to it).

    Therefore notice, even if statutorily correct and in writing, if incorrect as to law (if there is an existing easement, covenant or restriction) won't cut it.

    As already previously referenced, it could be that the Garage is inproperly located or that the combined sewer pre-dates the garage; and the branches to distribution for the private sewer connections are legal and property rights of others.

    There doesn't have to be a public or utility easement - it may be a PRIVATE easement, covenant or restriction limited to the properties of the aforementioned "neighbors". It may be unrecorded, or recorded in an alternate way (such as via a conveyance) but undisclosed to the instant property owner (or he just isn't aware of its existance).

    Oh and as usual, Jerry Peck goes out of his way to pepper with Ad hominem, and can't be bothered to read or comprehend a post.


    The emergent issue is that the old building drain was not properly abandonded and continues be attached to the building sewer and is only capped off in the basement. There is a proper, safer & sanitary way to deal with this on both a temporary and permanent basis - neither provide for the building drain to remain through the foundation wall and be merely capped off horizontally as a sewer dead-ending into the basement.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-26-2009 at 07:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I agree IF there is a utility easement, however, with it running under his garage floor, there should not be any easement under any structure, including a garage. Nor is even a concrete or asphalt drive allowed over an easement as when a repair needs to be done within the easement, they do not replace the concrete or the asphalt. Which is why the easement run under the street, down side property lines, and along back property lines.

    If there is an easement, his sewer pipe would run out to the easement and join the sewer pipe on that side from that neighbor. Not BOTH neighbors.

    Also, if what I stated was done, the permit would provide the information on the easement, so if there were any problems, they would be addressed then. Now if the easement is not known to the city, there is no way the homeowner would be expected to know it.
    Agree that a garage should not have been constructed over an easement, public or PRIVATE.

    However, paved drives, etc. are placed over both public, utility, and private easements all the time in this country. And your statement that the servicer of the easement is never responsible to R&R when servicing is erroneous. IT DEPENDS on the easement, covenants, restrictions, and the law of the land.

    A sewer, shared, public or private, may have many branches. Easements may run right across the middle of a property, there is no rule or requirement that they only run along the boarders. Subdivision are any subdivison of a formerly larger parcel, plat or tract.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Oh and as usual, Jerry Peck goes out of his way to pepper with Ad hominem, and can't be bothered to read or comprehend a post.
    As usual, Watson could not get through that post without trying to knock someone else.

    Watson, you made three other posts with useful information, but, you are simply unable to continue to contributer without feeling that you have no positive value unless you try to degrade another with a negative ... so, I guess I will have to agree with your apparent assessment of yourself - that you have no positive value, that you only appear to have positive value when starting at a negative position and becoming less negative, while still remaining a negative value.

    I have said it many times, and will repeat it again, you COULD be a real asset to this board.

    You just refuse to be.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14

    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    The city of Portland (OR) requires that all party lines be disconnected as soon as they are found. The party who has the line running through their property to the street owns it, and the neighbor is required to disconnect from that line at their cost (not cheap).


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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    ......

    Last edited by matt c; 10-02-2009 at 08:13 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by matt c View Post
    Why they would do something like this who knows?
    In 1908 just pooping indoors was an amazing thing. I don't think anyone thought it through much more than that.

    As Brandon mentions, around here the city is pretty aggressive about finding the lines and disconnecting the old party lines.

    It's most likely that once you give proper notification you can just cap the neighbors lines.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    ...............

    Last edited by matt c; 10-02-2009 at 08:12 PM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Sounds like it is time to get a good lawyer involved... but that may cost more than what the sewer line replacement will cost.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but pretty much everyone will lose if you have to go to court.
    I think I might be tempted just to make the repairs to the sewer line and send out copies of the bill and easement wording for the neighbors to see, then just hope that I get paid.
    At this point, I would just be trying to get out of the stream of crap coming down the hill.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    ...................

    Last edited by matt c; 10-02-2009 at 08:12 PM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Sounds like it is time to get a good lawyer involved... but that may cost more than what the sewer line replacement will cost.
    Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but pretty much everyone will lose if you have to go to court.
    I think I might be tempted just to make the repairs to the sewer line and send out copies of the bill and easement wording for the neighbors to see, then just hope that I get paid.
    At this point, I would just be trying to get out of the stream of crap coming down the hill.
    Curious what the last three posts said, I didn't return to the site until just after "matt c" had edited and removed all the info from his posts on 10/2. Do you recall what was said Jim Luttral?


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Party Line Sewer

    I don't recall the specifics, but Matt C. was the OP with the problem. My guess is he did go the lawyer route and was instructed to remove anything posted here. Kind of like trying to un-ring the proverbial bell.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

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