This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #37337
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    billiam
    Flatchatter

    I live in a unit block that backs onto a park. The Sydney Water connection point is at boundary at rear of property.

    It is marked on our Sewerage System Diagram and has been verified by Sydney Water.  The outgoing sewer pipe goes from the Connection Point to under the park, and then onwards to the main sewer on the other side of the park.

    Recently our building has been having sewerage problems, apparently caused by tree roots entering the pipe that goes under the park.  Our Strata Manager has sent plumbers, who have cleared the pipe with eels and done relining work.  It’s very expensive.

    Sydney Water Policy re their pipes is :-  “Sydney Water is responsible for the wastewater pipes from our network up to the property connection point”.

    The cost of these repairs has been passed onto owners in this building.  I asked the Strata Manager why these repair costs hadn’t been referred to Sydney Water, as it is their pipe.

    He is adamant that the repair costs must be borne by the unit owners, and continually refers to advice that he has received from plumbing contractors.  He doesn’t seem conversant with Sydney Water policy.

    The plumbing contractors are now recommending further work on the pipe.  Is there any action we can take to clarify who is responsible for the cost of these repairs ?

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by .
    #37459
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    The owners corporation’s plumbers should only have done work up to your boundary. If work was needed on the pipes that are beyond your boundary, then the plumber should have stopped or been directed to stop so that the utility provider (in this case Sydney Water) could determine for themselves that the fault lay in the area that was their responsibility. You can easily imagine how a utility could find themselves regularly paying for work that was not really their responsibility if they believed every plumber or proprietor who said the fault lay in their area.

    So, if the OC has paid the plumber for work that may or may not have been your responsibility and it is now too late to prove there was a problem in the utility’s area of responsibility, I suspect you are stuck with paying now.

    #37514
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    billiam
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    Thank you Sir Humphrey – billiam

    #37516
    Sir Humphrey
    Sir Humphrey
    Strataguru

    BTW. Next time you need plumbing work done, it could be worthwhile putting in an inspection opening at the boundary, which is known as the ‘tie point’. Sometimes the pipes have provision for one but without a capped riser to the surface. If there is a blockage, you can shine a light down the riser and immediately see if the problem is within your property, in which case you call a plumber, or outside your property, in which case you call the utility provider to get them to fix the problem. Like you, they will be able to see unequivocally whether the problem is yours or theirs.

    You tell the difference by whether you can see water in the riser. If there is water, the blockage must be below the tie point and in the utility provider’s area of responsibility. If there is no water in the riser, the blockage must be above the tie point and in your area of responsibility.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 1 week ago by .
    #37527
    scotlandx
    scotlandx
    Strataguru

    You need to obtain a sewer diagram showing the exact location of your sewer pipes, that way you know what is and isn’t yours, and also where the pipes are (very handy).

    https://www.sydneywater.com.au/SW/plumbing-building-developing/plumbing/diagrams-and-prints/index.htm

    You can buy the diagram on Infotrack online, it’s not that expensive.

    #37531
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    billiam
    Flatchatter
    Chat-starter

    thank you again Sir Humphrey and scotlandx  –  billiam

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