Backyard flooded, can't find source. Please help


  #1  
Old 07-21-11, 02:27 PM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: US
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Backyard flooded, can't find source. Please help

Hello. I live in a townhome with 6 units on a slight hill built in 1973. Units 4,5, and 6 are flooded in the backyards (our backyard is the worst). It is unit 4 in my "sketch" at the bottom. The water has remained at the same level and has not receded. It actually seems to be getting a little worse as time goes on. It appears to be coming through the foundation. We have an exposed basement in the back, and the service lines come from the front of our house (each unit has its own service line) about 3/4 of the way to the back of the house underneath our basement floor (which then leads straight out to the backyard). Our water company has been out several times and cannot detect any leaks. My neighbors and I have checked our meters, and bills. The meter doesn't move when water isn't running, and all of our bills are normal. At first they suggested a spring, but due to the scale, and the fact that we haven't gotten much rain over the last 2 months, they've pretty much ruled that out. Especially since it just appeared out of nowhere. It doesn't have any smell or any other signs of sewage. I took my utility pump and began pumping the water out of a hole I dug. After several hours of pumping the water out, it just keeps filling back up, so it appears to be a constant supply and also (as best as I can tell) coming through the foundation. Can someone please help? I don't even know who else to call at this point. So far, I've been dealing with the township and the water company. I made a call to American Leak Detection (who were very helpful), and they said that the water company should be the ones to contract them since they're unable to detect any leaks on the service line, and there are several properties involved. Has anyone else ever seen something like this? Here is my best attempt at a rough sketch of the property. They just excavated the water main shown by the dotted line and didn't find anything. They are hesitant to excavate the front main since it is under the street, and they can't tell for sure if there's a leak. At the very least, I wish I knew who to call, or where to go from here. Thanks in advance for any help.

M=Main, SD = storm drain

---------Downhill-------->
__________M________
|
--------------------------SD------------
| FRONT
| ___________________
M | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |
| |___|__|__|__|__|__|
| BACK
 
  #2  
Old 07-21-11, 06:03 PM
D
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,946
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very interesting. Have you looked at the properties next to yours? Perhaps the leak is coming from next door. Perhaps a leaking pool? Seem like you are getting more water than that.

I see that you are in PA. Any hydrofracking operations going on? Are you in a hilly area, perhaps at the bottom of one?
 
  #3  
Old 07-22-11, 08:19 AM
C
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: US
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi, thanks for the reply. No fracking in this area, and no pools. They have supposedly checked the neighbor's lines from the outside and not found anything. They're coming back out today to do an acoustical test on the lines from inside our house and unit 5, next to us. The latest from the water company is they also suspect air conditioners (not possible for that much water) or a storm drain. I can't see it being that either because the water never goes down, and it rained once or twice in the last 3 weeks. I'm really pulling my hair out on this one! We are on a hill, but more in the middle. Unit 3 has soft ground, but 1 and 2 at the top of the hill are dry out back. It could be one of the neighbors, but they're being very cooperative, and the water company still hasn't found any other signs of leakage.
 
  #4  
Old 07-22-11, 09:34 AM
B
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,540
Received 44 Likes on 40 Posts
I didn't see that they tested for chlorine, springs rarely have any.

Your insurance company may want to be involved and they may know who to call, especially since they don't want to be stuck for damages.

We had a spring that had a pipe installed and as kids we always swung by for a nice cold drink. When I returned home after college, I noticed the pipe/spring was gone. Apparently someone tested for chlorine and it was positive. The culprit was a cracked main line 1/2 mile away that seeped underground to the point where it surfaced and it had been doing so for over 20 years.

Testing the water will narrow down the source, waste water, rain water, or treated water.

The state should also have some geology folks that might be able to add some insight.

Check all construction sites over the recent 6 months as it can take time for a water leak to travel a long distance underground.

I'm not a fan of dowsers, but many believe in it. At least you could sell them some hot dogs.

Luck
Bud
 
  #5  
Old 07-22-11, 03:12 PM
D
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,946
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Testing for chlorine is a great idea. You should tell them to do it, or do it yourself. If the water is from a natural source, I doubt your insurance would cover any losses unless you carried flood insurance. Keep us informed about what happens.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: