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Plouging up water pipes (Read 21507 times)
richard.bolton
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Plouging up water pipes
Jan 9th, 2007 at 8:14pm
 
Can anyone point me to legislation that covers an incident of my neighbour ploughing up my water supply that runs beneath his fields? ???
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nhojcam
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #1 - Mar 8th, 2007 at 8:46pm
 
The pipe should have been at a depth below normal cultivations  and or normal drain level which is about 2ftn 6inches . There should have been at least 30 inches of soil above the pipe. you say ploughing up ?It looks like the pipe was to shallow , normal plough depth is around 10 inches with a maximum of no more than 16 inches. Even when subsoiling the maximum depth should normally be no more than 22inches. Hope that is of some use to you.
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nhojcam
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #2 - Mar 8th, 2007 at 8:58pm
 
Just a thought . If the land is on a slope, and the pipe has been there for a long time (60yrs) it may be that erosion by the weather and cultivation has reduced the depth of soil over the pipe. Depending on the length of pipe and then type of pipe (alkathene /copper ) A JCB and operator for a day and 100 metres of pipe wil be about half the cost of a lawyer, 1 hour consultation 3 letters , think about it.
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petrocelli
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #3 - Mar 9th, 2007 at 9:18pm
 
NHOJCAM:

I genuinely don't know, but assume the measurements you are providing are general good practice rather than prescribed by law (which was the original question)? †Can you confirm?

Perhaps I'm reading this wrong, but I suspect richard.bolton's query is what his legal remedy is against a neighbour who already has ploughed up his water supply. †The legal remedy would be an action possibly under the head of a nuisance or negligence claim for restitution (the reinstatement of the pipe) and reparation (for loss suffered by deprivation of water, and incidental expenses occurred therby).

I appreciate you are trying to present a practical solution to a tricky legal problem, but do you really think advising someone to hire a JCB and have it drive ONTO SOMEBODY ELSE'S PROPERTY AND START DIGGING UP THEIR FIELD (which for all we know may be sown with an industrial crop) is really a good idea?!

Re the above legal action, the only complexity I can foresee is whether the problem is due to the negligence of the farmer, or of the indivual/entity responsible for laying the pipe in the first place or maintaining it (I would take a guess that this is probably Scottish Water).
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nhojcam
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #4 - Mar 11th, 2007 at 6:01pm
 
IT WAS NOT ADVICE  .only what the job would cost.If it is a pipe taking water from a private well to a private house through somebody elses land it should be on the title deeds and will have nothing to do with Scottish Water, the local authority will require test samples for purity etc every so often . If the depth of the pipe was less than the depth of normal cultivations then it can not be deemed negligence, It is unlikely that the farmer was ploughing to deep, that can be expensive ,wear and tear on the plough and fuel and tyre cost.
    Check the title deeds. people have bought houses in rural areas and did not know that their water supply came from a well that was on other peoples land and was shared by others. A friend just bought a cottage in the country his lawyer never checked the water rights he ended up spending £7500 on a borehole for his water supply.
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petrocelli
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #5 - Mar 12th, 2007 at 2:12pm
 
I didn't see anything in the post about a private well, where are you getting this from?  I do take the point however, that people in rural areas may not be aware of precisely where their water originates.

I assume when you say:

Quote:
If the depth of the pipe was less than the depth of normal cultivations then it can not be deemed negligence. .


you mean that it cannot be deemed that the farmer was negligent?  Do you have any authority for this?
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nhojcam
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #6 - Mar 13th, 2007 at 9:16pm
 
50 yrs Farming & 30 yrs drainage contractor . Repairs to damaged water supplys 20 +. Negligence of farmers none , main culprits Hydro Eletric. G.P.O. Building Contractors, British Gas . Local Authority, road repairing and ditch cleaning squads. Tree Felling Operators and others . If the water pipe was installed by Scottish Water then Mr Bolton has no problem whatsoever.
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petrocelli
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #7 - Mar 14th, 2007 at 10:33am
 
That's all very well (no pun intended), but negligence is a legal term.  Are you aware of any actions which have been raised against farmers, which establish that farmers are not negligent in such circumstances?
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #8 - Mar 15th, 2007 at 12:11am
 
None of the parties mentioned in my last post were taken to court for disrupting the water supplies ,All paid for the repair through insurance without quibble . in only 1 instance was the actual location of the pipe marked . It would have been dificult to prove negligence with the rest since they were totally unaware that the water supply was in fact there .
           Scottish Water normally back fill with sand and and yellow warning tape on all their pipes , This is not often done with private installations.
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #9 - Mar 15th, 2007 at 10:23am
 
Sorry - just to be clear, whose insurers paid? †If it was the farmers' I would assume it would still be necessary for richard.bolton to intimate a claim on the farmers in order for them to pass for their insurers to deal with)
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nhojcam
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Re: Plouging up water pipes
Reply #10 - Mar 19th, 2007 at 5:26pm
 
Contractors and utilities, like B.T. and Hydro Eletric have insurance cover for disrupting  water supplies etc and require immediate repair (within 24 hrs if possible), when you disrupt a supply to a 500,000 chicken unit. waiting on solicitor letters back and forth is not practical .In Mr Boltons case the farmer was ploughing his field and the water supply was disrupted , this indicates that the water pipe should have been much deeper. Many rural properties have private wells simply because they are at a higher level than the reservoirs.
      I have spoken to a local lawyer who is involved in selling rural properties and he indicated that there are many pitfalls regarding private water supplies that city lawyers are totally unaware of and fail to make adequate provision when handling a clients purchase of a rural property . ie the location of the well in relation to the disposing and storage of animal waste (dung)  crop spraying (soil incorporated chemicals used mostly in vegetable production ) even when the well is within the boundaries of the purchased property  there can be problems. If the well is situated in a farmers field ( usually a boundary between 2 fields if possible but sometimes in the middle ) and the supply line travels through that farmers field and quite often it may travel through more than one farmers fields , It is essential that everybody involved knows exactly what the implcations are  . A change of ownership can create huge problems, The lawyer told me there are many disputes over private water supplies  but none that related to Mr Boltons problem .
     One dispute which may be of interest , A dairy farmer had horrendous water bills for high usage for cleaning etc , decided to put in a borehole for his own use , was advised as to what was needed and where etc etc . Got the job done fantastic supply, only one problem  2 farms on the other side of the hill and dependant on their private wells for all there water for the farm and all the staff in the farm cottages now have problem the 2 wells have gone dry on 3 occasions in the past year and apparently had continuosly overflowed for over 100 years until then .
    I will leave that one to petro. I hear on the grapevine Mr Bolton is now a consultant on water supplies or is that just a rumour .
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petrocelli
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Re: Ploughing up water pipes
Reply #11 - Mar 20th, 2007 at 4:22pm
 
That's all very good, but it doesn't sound from richard.bolton's post that his water was disrupted by a contractor or utility company. †It would stand to reason therefore, that such insurance cover would not exist.

If the pipes are his property, and are not maintained by a third party, then I would suspect his deeds would reveal a servitude right of access for maintenance of the pipes. †Assuming this is the case, I think the most practical solution here is for richard.bolton to liase with the farmer to get access for repair and thereafter (if indeed possible) bill whoever it is felt is responsible for the damage in the first instance.

As you point out however, it is entirely feasible that the farmer may not be held to be responsible for the incident, and that the fault lies with someone who laid the original pipes, who (if this was a private affair) may long since have passed on.

PS - I should add that as the first post was on 9 Jan, this situation has probably long since resolved itself. †Can the poster confirm?
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