standing water in water meter

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  #1  
Old 06-29-02, 08:38 AM
newhouse?
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Unhappy standing water in water meter

We are soon to buy a new house, our first. Well in talking to our soon to be neighbors, they have told us they have had plumbing problems. One womens toilet backed up into her house, about 4 inches of water, so it was not just the water in the toilet. Then everyone is telling us about standing water in the water meter, so the guy cant read it, hence they are getting outrageous water bills. Well yesterday we went out to the house and our toilet had backed up into our house, mind you it is empty. And we have already noticed that there is always standing water in our meter as well. There is no way they could read that thing?
Anyone have any ideas as to why this is happening, and is it a problem that can be fixed?
We have yet to talk to the construction manager about the issue.
Thanks for any help you can give!
 
  #2  
Old 06-29-02, 09:20 AM
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If this home is on a septic system, and the ground is not draining or absorbing water, you are going to have a MAJOR sewage problem, not to mention what may be going on later in a basement or crawlspace with excess moisture (mold and rot).
This is grounds for withdrawing from the contract and getting your earnest money back (consult an attorney).
Talk to the seller about the problem immediately.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 06-29-02, 09:52 AM
newhouse?
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We live in Texas, so we dont have basements. And it is not a septic system. Just regular city plumbing. but I do think that the ground is not absorbing the water properly, we are so frustrated and unsure if we should go through with the purchase.
 
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Old 06-29-02, 10:32 AM
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Standing water? Everyone's sewer line is backing up (including a vacant house)?
This sounds like a major clog in the public sewer main line serving that immediate area.
Usually, public storm water runoff drainage lines and public sewer lines are separate, so that they don't have to treat the storm water with the sewer water, but sometimes they are combined.
A clog in the main(s) will cause what you're describing (standing water and sewage backup).
Has anyone notified the developer or builder about this problem?
Have they requested that the public sewer/drainage people inspect and clear their system(s)?
If they have blockage, then it would not allow the sewage to drain properly or the storm water to drain off properly. If they clear it, it should solve both problems.
That may be all that it is.
Get this straightened out before you buy this property, however, so that you can be assured that all is well in advance.
Call the construction manager immediately to discuss the problem, and let him take care of it.
Good luck!
Mike
 
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Old 06-29-02, 02:51 PM
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A water meter can be read even when the pit is full of water. Hollow plastic tubes are sold that the meter reader presses down onto the meter glass and it's like looking through a dirty window.
If you receive a high water bill, ask them to double check the meter, first for accurate reading and second for a leak at the meter set gaskets.

Hope this helps...
 
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Old 06-29-02, 03:49 PM
newhouse?
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well that makes me feel a bit better.... but I am still concerned that the water is not draining properly. The people across the street said they have gone round and round with the water company and the builder about the standing water and can not get it fixed. They just keep telling them they are over watering!!
 
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Old 06-29-02, 08:00 PM
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That's hogwash/BS with the "over watering"!
I still think that it is probably just a public sewer/drainage problem, and an attorney can protect you if it isn't.
Call the public sewer/drainage system people to find out yourself, if necessary.
Do NOT close on this property until you know what's going on.
Put the bee back on the seller.
THEY should solve this problem to YOUR satisfaction, not you.
Good Luck!
Mike
 

Last edited by Mike Swearingen; 06-30-02 at 03:34 AM.
  #8  
Old 06-30-02, 12:29 AM
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I am with the Old Guy on this one! Sounds like there is the possibilty of one problem like he said or maybe two. First off it is sure there is a clogged sewer line. Your house flooded because someone upstream from you was placing more water down the line than it could handle. It could be a partial clog which would allow it to work well when the drainage demand was low. However, on those days when everyone up stream decides to do the laundry, dishes and take a shower at the same time the line is unable to handle the additional load. It begins to back up and find somewhere else it can come out. This time it happened to be your toilet.
I would think if you polled your neighbors on who has had problems in the past and who hasn't, you may get a good idea of where the problem may lay. The clog is down stream from you, keep asking those downstream from you until you hit several who haven't had any problems. The problem is upstream from them.
The other issue of standing water, could be from the sewer. However, your statement that everyone is paying high water bills leads me to believe there is a leak somewhere and maybe more than one. If possible, get the water out of the meter box enough to see the meter, or rig a pipe up to look at the meter. Don't know if you could rent one or borrow one from the water company. But if you took a 3" PVC pipe and secured it to a jar, glass or something well enough not to leak, you may be able to look at the meter.
Once you have visual on the meter, ensure all the water at the house is shut off. Look at the meter, there is a small triangle pointer on it. This pointer should not be moving, it is a leak detector device. If it is moving, shut off the water to the house right before it enters the house. Check the pointer again. If it is no longer moving the leak is somewhere in/under the house. If it is still moving the leak is somewhere between the meter and the house. Either way, it would be up to the owner to repair prior to you buying the house.
If you look at the meter and the pointer is not moving, you probally do not have a leak. However, the neighbor who is complaining of high water bills may and should check his meter. It could be the one that is flooding everyones box's.
 
  #9  
Old 06-30-02, 03:40 AM
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Try is probably right on about a leaking water line causing the standing water, UNLESS you have had a great deal of rain lately, saturating the ground or backing up.
I didn't consider a water line leak, but I bet that the people with the high water bills have one, as try said.
The builder, the current homeowners, and the public water and sewer people need to get together and get this resolved.
It is NOT your problem, until you close on the house. Just make sure that they get it right first.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
 

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