Sunday, 25 October 2009

Drains Revisited, an Ongoing Saga

Digging for Victory-or for the fun of it?

What's down here, then?

Ooh! an old stone-built box-culvert! Underground history!, this'll be early1800s, let's take the top slab off-

The bright green is drain-tracing dye, we'll be looking for it in the drain to which we THINK this might connect...

Oh dear... It's going nowhere, just filling up the trench. More excavations then... better go get a mini-digger.

Ongoing... More digging next week. Lots of meetings, city surveyors, water authority surveyors, legal people, because it's not clear whose responsibility it is to maintain and repair this. The water authority says the culvert is a watercourse, which brings it into "riparian law", and the landowner is responsible for it. That's the city, then. But the city, fearing getting stuck with a rapidly mounting bill for repairs, says it's a private sewer, draining only the mill. That'll be us then... But hold on.. if it joins a drain serving anybody else, they share the costs, that's the city then, but if it's a joint sewer built before 1934, it's the water authority's.....
Let's play "Pass the Buck".
We can, legally, says the water-board man, just leave a hole and let the water spill out over the city's unmaintained land.
And if it floods a house, rented from the city, then there's no claim against us, because it's just surface water, and it was running through this land long before the city built houses on the farmland, and they failed to identify and locate all pre-existing drainage. And they allowed trees to grow over the drains/sewers/culverted water-courses.

Still, every cloud has a silver lining. From old experience I know this makes good earthenware potting clay, maybe I'll get a trailer-load.
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1 comment:

  1. how serendipitous that the excavation and clay work have something essential in common. the mire of legal issues always makes me tired as they do here in the US but i've had this feeling for a long time that britain and india surpass us in the layers of legal mumbojumbo surrounding even the most seemingly mundane activity... like a license to watch tv. could be wrong though, it's just a feeling.


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