|Posted on Monday, 13 February, 2006 - 12:43 am: |
Hi- anyone have this problem or have a good knowledge of local history/geomorphology.
We had this problem a few years ago which led to a flood in our kitchen and a lot of damage. Today it appears to be starting again, even though the rain has not been that heavy. Our garage has a concrete floor with some tiles. Water is coming up through the tiles and has flooded the garage and it is getting worse. There are no drains running under the garage floor as they skirt around the front of the house. We have had everything investigated before from drains to washing machines, but the only likely cause is rising groundwater. The water is clear and clean. Our house is a bit unique in having the garage higher than the house, with an entrance into the kitchen - we have had to put up a barrier across the gap so that water does not flood the kitchen again.
We would welcome advice as to what to do, as we have been in touch with Thames Water who inspected last time, and came to no conclusion. We don't seem to have anywhere to turn to.
Ewelme is derived from the Latin and anglo saxon for ' sweet waters' and overwhelming spring' etc, so I wonder whether there is a spring on this road. Neighbours who have been here a long time have had spurting water in their basements, and some of the gardens , including ours, are pretty sodden at times, long after we have had rain, indicating damp ground.
We know there is a water course in Tyson Road as there is a gap between some of the buildings there to allow the water to pass through.
If anyone can throw any light on this problem,or have any ideas what we can do about it, it would be appreciated. I suppose we could always consider a waterproof membrane and redo the whole floor again, but I am not sure whether this would do any good.
|Posted on Monday, 13 February, 2006 - 06:55 am: |
Both Ewelme and Benson are two small villages next to each other in Oxfordshire and I always assumed it was from there these names were derived.
|Posted on Monday, 13 February, 2006 - 12:46 pm: |
I think our whole area has underground streams.
There is a watercourse that goes through my road.
One in Blythe Vale has been concreted over.
I was told that St George's Church deteriorated because it was on the site where 3 underground watercourses converged.
I think your road is at the bottom of Forest Hill. Possibly it just suffers from water draining down the hill instead of into drains and gullies. I have noticed a large number of these blocked. i report them when I see them. But they are only cleared if someone reports them.
I think you need to research old maps etc for more information.
|Posted on Monday, 13 February, 2006 - 01:13 pm: |
I live in Devonshire oposite the end of Ewelme Road.
The canal did not exactly follow the route of the current railway after the railway company purchased the canal and closed it down.
Around Ewelme Road the canal went over the other side of Devonshire then down to Davids Road which was a quay.
It is logigal that a large hill would have streams of some description coming down the sides.
There have been a number of interesting books about the area.
|Posted on Monday, 13 February, 2006 - 01:22 pm: |
Someone who lived in Stanstead Road at the bottom of Forest Hill told me that dead rats and sewage came up out of the toilet when we had that torrential downpour in 1992 (I think). Basically the sewage system was overloaded that day.
Many old watercourses in London have been concreted in or concreted over. Sometimes they reappear during exceptionally wet weather.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 08:01 am: |
Problem is under no stretch of the imagination could anyone claim that the recent past has been exceptionally wet.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 11:55 am: |
I believe the Manager of Sydenham Hill Wood is using a hydrologist to identify if old spings / streams running through the site fed the Effra. Might be worth asking him for information. Either look for him in the wood or make contact c/o the Horniman Musuem.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 12:50 pm: |
The Effra tributaries might flow down the otherside of the Hillbut surely not the FH side.
These might feed the Pool or the Ravensbourne?
It is true that Syd Hill Woods face away from FH and this area could indeed feed the Effra.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 01:49 pm: |
I spoke to someone at the Environment Agency who established that there are no formal watercourses or springs in Ewelme Road, and that is probably occuring because the surface and groundwater drainage in the road and around is inadequate. The problem is establishing whether any one is liable for this and can do something about it, or whether we need to do something to the floor to prevent any more water coming up. Thanks for the tip about the hydrologist, I will follow this up.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 04:14 pm: |
As I said before, many drains in our roads are blocked by leaves or dirt. I have been told that there is only one gulley sucker in the whole of the Borough of Lewisham. It seems to only deal with emergencies and does not have a regular cleaning programme. It empties the drains near me because I report them if they are blocked. I live at the top of a hill. So I am unlikely to be flooded, but I still want the rainwater to go away and not form large puddles or lakes in the road.
for an online reporting method.
I suggest you walk round the roads uphill and report any blocked gutters you see. Obviously if the rainwater cannot enter the drain it cannot drain away and is likely to soak in somewhere and resurface lower down.
Also go out when it rains and see how quickly the drains near you allow rainwater to flow away. If they appear blocked, report them.
Sometimes the blockages are further in the drains/sewers and these blockages need to be cleared.
Drainage is the responsibility of Thames Water.
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 04:17 pm: |
Reading your original post a burst water main also sounds like a strong possibility (especially as it really is a dry period as Brian said).
|Posted on Tuesday, 14 February, 2006 - 04:36 pm: |
I would advise Roz to contact Lewisham Environmental Health. I ran over her problem with one of the team, Steve Collingwood. They will be able to offer guidance on identifying the cause. I would keep an open mind until you've had some professional advise, as there are quite a few possibilities.
I think the storm drains are unlikely to be the problem unless water is actually running off the road into Roz's garage. The storm drains don't, I think, have much to do with land drainage. Collapsed drains are, however, I am told, a serious problem which jetting does nothing to alleviate.
So far as mains water is concerned, it can travel quite a distance. We had a problem on the Tyson Road estate with 'seeping' mains water, which was coming from way up the hill.
The other factor, which the Mayor for London has raised is the concreting over of more of the urban landscape whether for car parking in the front garden or hard surface rear gardens. This is apparently likely to become a serious problem too. I understand that this and other building activity may disrupt the flow patterns of ground water.
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 February, 2006 - 12:29 pm: |
Yes I agree ( hate to agree with our Mayor ) I object strongly to concreting over gardens. Usually leaves less parking spaces than before.
Should be illegal.
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 February, 2006 - 01:47 pm: |
I live in Ewelme Road as well and my next door neighbour has a similar problem. This was resolved by running a gully through the garage which drains into the road. We have got a similar set up except the water is directed at the back of the house to our drains.
It is my understanding that some drainage was put into the gardens of the road but obviously not an adequate amount.
I would be interested to hear how you get on.
|Posted on Wednesday, 15 February, 2006 - 04:46 pm: |
I am not sure if this is relevant, but have a look at this link about the danger of rising water levels:
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 12:56 pm: |
Thanks everyone for all your advice, this is really appreciated.
Dear Pea, I would really like to speak to your neighbour about this if he/she doesn't mind! Perhaps the webmaster could assist with this, if I send him my phone number to pass on to you?
Thanks Cllr Whiting for this. I actually spoke to someone in Highways- they suggested I ring Thames Water- they are coming out in May to have a look at it but I dont think it is a problem with the supply pipe as it is miles away from the garage, and also the garage is uphill from it. I still think a burst mains is a possibility. But I will call Environmental Health as you advise.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 01:12 pm: |
The other issue here is also apart from the nuisance factor of occasional flooding, is whether this is actually causing damage to our house foundations, and may erode the soil. Does anyone think we should notify our insurers of this general matter and get their help,or will this only cause us problems. With reference to Cllr Whitings comment about professional advice, the problem is that this is very expensive, and you are not always clear which professional to speak to.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 02:05 pm: |
Cost is a problem with advice, and in my experience, the advice is often to suggest other professionals who might help! However, on a serious matter like this there may be no alternative
I would try environmental health and see what they say on identifying the source of the water, the best type of professional and the risk to foundations.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 03:14 pm: |
You have a duty to inform your insurers of any risk that you are aware of. The contract is one of uberrimae fidei (the utmost good faith). Your duty is to inform them of circumstances you are aware of that may affect the risk insured against even if they do not ask about it. So definitely inform your insurance company (preferably in writing keeping a copy of your letter). Obviously they might increase your premium. But you have no choice. They may well appoint a professional to investigate (at their expense) in order to determine the cause and then possibly they may pay for repairs if your insurance covers it.
Environmental Health might help you at no charge as your house might not be the only one at risk.
Are there any trees near your house that might have damaged nearby drains? (Their roots sometimes break underground drains.) If so experts often put closed circuit cameras down the drains to check for damage.
A burst water main uphill sounds like a strong possibility to me.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 03:22 pm: |
Well done, Sherwood. I'd forgotten the insurance angle.
Incidentally, my entirely amateur assumption would also be burst water main - especially if there is a heavy persistent flow. As we found in Tyson Road, water from an underground burst can travel a long way.
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 09:29 pm: |
This is a quote from Thames Water:
"All but one of the last 15 months in the Thames Water region has seen below-average rainfall; 2005 was the third driest year since records began. Last month, there was just 20 millimetres of rain, or 29 per cent of average."
It is difficult to believe that it is rainwater that is flooding your garage.
In your postion I would be reluctant to wait until May for action.
You also have a duty to mitigate your damage.
I suggest that you write to Thames Water (recorded delivery) with a copy to your insurance company detailing your concerns and invite them to inspect your property and remedy the damage as soon as possible.
(If you would like help drafting the letter, post the content here and I will be pleased to check it. You don't need to give me your address.)
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 10:22 pm: |
My back garden is exceptionally wet at present. Surprising as Thames Water are using the word drought in their website!
|Posted on Thursday, 16 February, 2006 - 11:15 pm: |
I hope you have tracked down the Ewelme Road neighbours who are suffering from the same problem. Since a leaking main seems a strong candidate as the source, you might like to phone Thames Water again tonight. The night team tend to be more experienced workmen and do identify faults in the pipes others may have missed. It also helps there being less traffic on the roads to have to worry about.
Keep direct control at this stage rather than pass the decision-making to your insurers’ loss adjusters. Take free advice from the Environmental Health Officer, put Thames Water on written notice you are holding them responsible, then select your own experts for paid advice. I found a structural engineer’s report very useful and not exorbitantly priced. The engineer can monitor building movement and will advise if your insurers need to be informed.
|Posted on Friday, 17 February, 2006 - 08:03 pm: |
I have a similar problem with standing water in my drive. This is caused by a leaky water pipe bringing water from the mains into my building. It's always a bit boggy and one flower bed is permanently sodden. After rain the drive is a big puddle. I did actually get it fixed by Thames Water but it started to leak again within a month. I had the choice of getting the leak fixed for free (first fix only is free) or having the whole stretch of pipe replaced for £250 (special rate for first call out - usual price £750). I should have taken the latter option because these are victorian pipes and they are just crumbling so if you fix a leak at one place another one appears somewhere else - but I was so exhausted by getting them to sort it out at all - 7 months of calling their call centre up to 6 times a day, only to be told repeatedly that there was no record of previous contact, no record of the job needing doing, days of waiting in for the engineers who didn't show up etc. When they finally came to do it (4 hours late, no apology), I was so desperate and sick of the whole thing I just couldn't face getting the council involved in paying 50% of the cost (a leaseholder thing) so I just asked them to fix it for free. Now to replace the pipe, because it's no longer a first job, will cost £750.
Regarding damage to your property - I've had 3 damp experts round to my place because of water penetration caused by inadequately maintained guttering which required me to do a load of internal replastering (as I've moaned about at length on other posts relating to Pinnacle). At the same time I asked about the groundwater issue. The water leaks into my cellar. I was told that as long as I have a rising damp course in place - which I do - there is no need to worry. The foundations of the building will not be damaged by groundwater. The biggest risk according to the damp expert was that the leak should become so bad that it affects the water pressure in my building.
Meanwhile, getting in and out of my car is a muddy business, but at the moment that's preferable than restarting the process with Thames Water. I think it'll be several years before I muster up the energy to go through that again!
Anyway hope some of this info is helpful to you.
|Posted on Friday, 17 February, 2006 - 10:29 pm: |
Your burst water main is your own supply pipe outside your damp proof course. It seems logical that this water will not enter your premises.
Roz's water is already inside her premises, coming up inside the garage through the floor.
|Posted on Friday, 17 February, 2006 - 11:00 pm: |
You must inform your insurer otherwise they can repudiate the policy and not pay any claim you make (even for another type of damage).
I suggest that you write to Thames Water with a copy to your insurers as follows:
cc insurance company
WATER DAMAGE - NN EWELME ROAD, SE23 NXX
I am writing to inform you that water is constantly forcing its way up through the concrete and tiled floor of my garage. This water is clear and clean and appears to be fresh water that has leaked from one or more of your water mains.
Your website states that rainfall has been unusually low for 15 months and that last month, there was just 20 millimetres of rain, or 29 per cent of average. This tends to confirm my suspicion that the source of the water is a leak or leaks from one or more of your water mains.
I have asked Environmental Health to visit to investigate and analyse the water. Also I will instruct an expert surveyor to determine the extent of the mains water damage.
I will look to you to pay for any costs incurred and for the costs of building repairs.
I am sending a copy of this letter to my insurers in case I need to make a claim for subsidence due to soil erosion caused by the continuing leak from your water main pipe or pipes.
If you would like to visit to inspect the extent of the damage you are responsible for, kindly telephone me to arrange a convenient appointment within the next seven days.
It may also be necessary for me to instruct a solicitor to act for me to protect my interests if you do not take the necessary action to prevent your water damaging my property.
You need to dicuss this with your insurers as often they pay for the repairs and recover the costs from the responsible party.
Telephone Thames Water as well for an urgent response. But you will need to start to build up evidence in case they do not stop the leak/s and you need to to pursue the matter.
|Posted on Friday, 17 February, 2006 - 11:42 pm: |
apart from the cellar
|Posted on Saturday, 18 February, 2006 - 12:00 am: |
Cellars are usually tanked (i.e. waterproofed).
Otherwise I think yours would be full of water by now!
|Posted on Saturday, 18 February, 2006 - 07:04 pm: |
Thanks for all this wonderful advice.
The problem started again in the last 20 minutes - just as the rain started - so I called Thames Water emergency service as suggested. They are prioritising this and will come out this evening to do tests. It does seem related to rainfall rather than a main - the main suspect is now faulty storm water drainage in the locality.
I know my house drains are fine as we had them all checked by Dynorod last Monday.
I have also made contact with others in my road who have been affected and hope to be discussing this with them this weekend or next week. One of my neighbours also mentioned a problem in Honor Oak Road just to the right of Ewelme where in the dry weather a year or so ago, there was water flowing all over the road- apparently this was a spring not a burst main. Theres so much history of problems like this in this area that something is going wrong somewhere.
Jo, I am not sure where in Forest Hill you live- do you also live on one of the hills?
Sherwood, thanks for the draft letter. We are not making a further claim - yet - as no damage has been caused this time - yet - but I will next week be writing to our insurers about this and seeking their advice. I am with the AA and they also offer free legal advice. They know about this issue as we told them when we made the claim for water damage last time. They did not say or recommend that we do anything. I think I will also establish a chain of contacts with the Environmental Health and Highways Dept of the Council, and also the Environment Agency, and keep them all involved until someone hopefully will decide that its their responsibility. Until then , they are all equally culpable.!
PS Thames Water just called back- they are coming round shortly, but from the description they think its the storm water drainage- which of course is the responsibility of the Council....here we go round and round again ...
|Posted on Saturday, 18 February, 2006 - 10:20 pm: |
Storm water drainage technically is The responsibility of Thames Water. Lewisham Council maintain them as agents for Thames Water.
Why was a spring erupting in Honor Oak Road during dry weather? Who told you it was spring water?
During dry weather Thames Water have to increase the mains water pressure in order to satisfy increased demand. In turn this often bursts old water mains. This is why they keep the pressure low in the first place!
|Posted on Sunday, 19 February, 2006 - 08:22 am: |
This is interesting , Sherwood, as the guy from TW turned up ( he was a subcontractor) and said this was nothing to do with them. I obviously had a leaking roof.All this whilst the water was clearly springing( puns- who cares) from the garage floor as he watched. I wll ring them again and get on the case. Our neighbour mentioned the spring in Honor Oak Road. If anyone has more information it would be appreciated.
|Posted on Sunday, 19 February, 2006 - 05:42 pm: |
You need to send that letter. It might provoke some decisive action.
My guess is still that it is a burst water main somewhere uphill. Your latest visitor couldn't do anything about the problem because he did not know the source.
I reported a burst water main on the South Circular, where water was bubbling up through the paving stones. It took several weeks before it was mended as it was only a minor leak.
I think we have someone on this website who works for Thames Water. perhaps he wil give us some guidance (anonymously of course).
I hope Envirobmental Health will visit you soon. I assume that they should be able to test the water to see if it is rainwater or mains water. Mains water should have chlorine in it.
|Posted on Sunday, 19 February, 2006 - 07:27 pm: |
I quote Mr.T
"I admit to having some knowledge of the Forest Hill/Catford water distn system, and you are completely right. My main battle is to keep the pressure down, otherwise we are up all night fixing burst mains! On the other hand sewage percolation into the mains becomes an issue if you go too low - its a fine balancing act that few appreciate... "
|Posted on Sunday, 19 February, 2006 - 08:00 pm: |
I quote TTTTTTTTTTTTTT from an earlier topic
"I've fairly recently moved to the area and have found that the very back of my garden is swamp-like. The ground is totally sodden and we seem to have an impromptu pond.
Neighbours tell me that the area has many undergound streams and water-ways, that they have areas in their gardens similarly and that, there's nothing can be done.
However, I wasn't convinced and since work has been underway on the water mains by Horniman Museum, my swamp and pond seem to be rapidly drying up. Something that didn't even happen previously when we had a brief spell good weather earlier in the Summer."
|Posted on Monday, 20 February, 2006 - 08:10 am: |
Sorry. who is Mr T? Would you please let me know the thread so I can catch up?
|Posted on Monday, 20 February, 2006 - 09:45 am: |
See the topic "water pressure".
I think Mr T works for Thames Water.
|Posted on Monday, 20 February, 2006 - 09:47 am: |
See also Liz on the topic "local underground streams".
I thought it was you when I first read it.
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 - 08:54 am: |
Roz - I live on Church Rise, but at the lower end before it starts rising, so not on a hill. It just struck me there was a strong similarity with your situation with water springing up in your garage and me with it in my drive - I thought it could be for the same reason. In my case it's not to do with geology but just an old pipe.
Sherwood - amazing how sure you are that my cellar is dry, considering that - to the best of my knowledge - you've never been in it!! Unless it's you that my cat keeps sneaking down there to visit...?
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 - 10:09 am: |
I think you would have mentioned a flooded cellar if it had been full of water!
Personally, I would not spend too long down there. From what you say there may considerable water pressure against your cellar walls!
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 - 01:39 pm: |
Now you people only interested in BG profits ( i am a shreholder and non user so good for me )Ewelme Road water problems , that is a good example of a local issue
|Posted on Tuesday, 21 February, 2006 - 01:50 pm: |
It is a localised flooding in one person's front garden caused by water escaping from their own water supply pipe.
|Posted on Friday, 24 February, 2006 - 07:47 am: |
The more I think about our problems the odder it seems- we had TW out again on Monday after I made a fuss. They looked down the manhole in the road- no apparent problems. Kept talking about our garage roof- there are no problems there.
I heard today that the water table is the lowest in years.
One of my neighbours last week had sewage coming up into their garage and the same guy from TW also came to look at this. Seems to be a pattern emerging here. I am going to write to TW, the council, and the Environment Agency this weekend to advise them that as far as I am concerned they are equally responsible until such time as one of them proves otherwise. This cannot be natural groundwater.