Will a Drain Survey Expose Whose Drain is Faulty?

Whose drain is causing the leak? This is a question we are often called in to answer, when neighbours are in dispute over damp issues.
We were called in recently over a dispute between commercial properties over a continuous flood into a basement, where our client was being held responsible.
Drainage networks are often complex, and old, making it difficult determine from the surface, exactly whose drain is at fault, depending on where in the system a fault is located.

The Drain Survey Solution
When it becomes a matter for both Environmental Health and solicitors, then a drainage problem quickly escalates, with blame and counter-blame.
We see it as our job to bypass all this and get to the heart of the matter: what is causing drainage problems.
As drainage professionals, there are different ways for us to approach this. We can use sonar drain tracing, we can use dye testing, and we can use a CCTV drain survey.
In many situations, we need to employ a combination of all these techniques to detect and diagnose a drainage problem.
In this case, we first carried out a CCTV drain survey on our client’s drainage system.
The survey revealed a defect in the drain, but not necessarily the cause of the continuous leaking of water into the neighbouring property’s basement.
The defect was from a joint in the network which was damaged and now open. We fixed this by applying a patch. The patch liner repair is what it sounds like, a patch of material, impregnated with epoxy resin, inserted into the point of the drain with a packer where there is damage. Once in position, the packer inflates, fixing the patch to the inside of the drain, and patching over the damage.

Further Investigations
We needed to be sure that our client’s drains were not the source of the leak into the neighbour’s basement. For this reason, we then used dye testing. We filled the client’s entire drainage system with bright green dye, keeping it in the place for 30 minutes.
This would tell us if any of the water from our client’s drainage system was escaping next door, as it would be the same, dyed colour if it was.
We checked the neighbouring basement, but the water leaking into it was clear, and therefore not from our client’s drainage network.
Drainage investigations are not always just to solve a drainage problem – they can also resolve issues around responsibility for drainage and leaks.