Week62 - 16Dec 2002

Progress this week

The main stairs are fitted, section 1...
section 2...
They will be reinforced with steel as they are unsupported..
The steel is fitted..
and welded.

We had a major water problem this week.

During the groundworks phase of the building in March 2002 I considered all the options for water main provision. I started by calling Anglian Water to ask if I could connect to the existing water supply for my new house and if so did they need to be involved. The answer was "No, if the pipes are on your ground you can do what you like". I therefore decided to replace the old pipe from the point at which it joined my property. I hired an electronic underground pipe locator and tried a spot of water divining! Despite our best efforts and three days of digging in all the most likely places we could not find the pipe. I decided therefore to try to connect to the supply where it joins the old house - it was inaccessible at the time due to scaffolding etc and in any event water was not required for many months. We reached that point this week and set about finding the pipe and making the connection. Read on!

We attempt to connect to the old pipe but it just crumbles..
So we start digging up the front lawn to find a connection. Late into a December night...
We find the pipe at last!
and make a temporary connection.
Next morning we survey the front lawn.

But before the very helpful engineer from Anglian Water left, he dropped a bombshell.  All new houses, even if they are replacement dwellings, must have a completely new water supply from the water main to the house. In my case this would involve laying a new pipe across the road (my water meter is on the opposite side of the road!) at my expense, to the border with my land and then I would have to lay a new pipe obviously again at my expense. I was livid, not with the engineer, but because I had specifically asked Anglian Water this very question 9 months ago when I had a suitable trench fully exposed and suitable! As a direct result of the totally incorrect information they gave me I have incurred expenses of more than £1000. I have written to the Chief Executive of Anglian Water explaining my displeasure. I shall let you know the outcome.

WARNING. Do not plan to connect a new house to an existing water supply. If you do so you can be prosecuted. I do not know how you are supposed to know this. Building regs, my plumber, and my architect were not aware of the regulation which apparently changed/came into force in 1999. Even the staff on the end of the phone at Anglian Water are not aware of it!

The best way to spend the last Saturday before Christmas..
laying a new water pipe.

Next Week