Plumbing in the Home/Sewer lines

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Question
Thank you, Jay for your time!  I found out a few years ago that there is a lateral line that runs through the back yards of several houses on my street to the cities' main pipe.  One of my neighbors (right next to our house) told me that he was running a direct line from his house to the main sewer pipe.  I noticed that he had cut the main pipe that connects to the pipe that runs behind many houses.  I assumed that he was going to connect it but I don't think he did.  We had a small leak in our line that goes from our house to the shared pipe and fixed it but now we wonder if our shared pipe is connected or leaking raw sewage under the ground.  Is there any visual things to look for in the yard that indicated that this is happening.  Also, if this is the case, what should we do:  call the city and report this neighbor, etc?  I am worried that we will have to pay to fix this potential mess.  thank you again for your time and help.

Answer
Hi Tanya,
Usually if there is a leak it will show up as a wet or soft spot on the lawn. If yor neighbor tied into a main on his property  or if he tied in on your property without permission or a permit than I don't see you being held liable for his actions.  I would have a conversation with your neighbor and ask him what he did.  If you don't feel he is being truthful or he blows you off, I would contact the code enforcement officer and ask if a permit and an inspection was  completed. Keep in mind that if the line from your house and his ties together somewhere before the main, if it collapses or plugs because the installation was wrong, you may end up with a really nasty/smell problem in your yard or worse, in your house.

J

Plumbing in the Home

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Jay Nicholas

Expertise

Plumbing & Heating (warm air, hot water & steam heat)

Experience

40 years in the business, 35 years as a lic. master plumber in NY State. Retired

Education/Credentials
Graduated Magna cum laude at the School of Hard Knocks

Past/Present Clients
Commercial, residential and light industrial. You name it ...I have probably worked on it

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