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Neighbours pool leaking in Canberra?

By 19 November 2012 11

Would be grateful for anyone’s insights/experience in this as I can’t find much about it so far. 

What are my rights if my neighbour’s pool is leaking into my backyard? 

They have a built in pool and we are down-slope from them.   A few weeks after all the rain we had a while ago, I noticed a 3 metre wide bare stretch  of dirt near the fence we share looked wet but either side was dry.  At first thought it was just from their watering then noticed the garden soil above was dry.  Dug down about a foot to the  same depth as the dirt patche and the soil started to get moist. 

The lawn beyond the dirt patch is soggy for quite a few metres after this with no watering done whatsoever. 

The pool is salt and there is now a white residue appearing on the dirt.  Spoke to the neighbour and it took a while but think I finally got it through to them (they admitted they had been topping up the pool more than usual, my spouse has since been told it is just from evaporation)   I wasn’t too worried until the white started to appear. 

The pool is on the other side of the yard from us and thought the soil would filter the salt but it seems not and it seems to be getting worse so worried about other damage.  How liable are they for whatever happens as a result? 

Is there anywhere we can report this to if they are unwilling to recognise what is happening?

Thanks.

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11 Responses to Neighbours pool leaking in Canberra?
#1
Morgan11:57 am, 19 Nov 12

In NSW it is against the law to have water flow from your property into another eg. Poor guttering draining into a neighbouring property. There may be similar provisions in Canberra.

Check with ACTPLA.

#2
Genie12:23 pm, 19 Nov 12

On a similar subject – Can you make a neighbour (or Gov’ment) pay to FIX your pool ? We have an in ground pool and our neighbours tree roots have cracked and broken through the fiberglass. Can we have them pay to fix it ? Given that it is a giant gum tree the government won’t allow for it to be removed

#3
breda1:16 pm, 19 Nov 12

In both of the examples cited there is a common law principle that you are responsible for things that escape from your property and harm others – whether it be water or tree roots. A person who has suffered loss or damage because of this can sue the property owner in a civil court.

It’s slow and expensive, though, so if there is a handy law to use that is preferable.

#4
Madam Cholet3:32 pm, 19 Nov 12

That’s my general understanding also. We had tree roots removed from drainage on our property. Lucky for us that the roots were impacting just outside of our property boundary so Actew picked up the bill. If the roots had been impacting actually on our property we would have been up for $4000.

Not sure though how you get your neighbours to cough up.

#5
Masquara6:42 pm, 19 Nov 12

You don’t want FREE water from your neighbour with summer watering need just around the corner? Shhhhh!

#6
Masquara6:43 pm, 19 Nov 12

Oh. Just read the salt bit! Bummer.

#7
Weaselburger5:32 pm, 20 Nov 12

1300 654 314 Canberra legal aid over the phone legal advice. I’m guessing at least one of the people there might know what they’re talking about…… at least you’d hope so

#8
sportsmum10:05 pm, 20 Nov 12

Much as I hate to say it, I think you need to go and see a lawyer and get some advice on this. Perhaps a few legal letters will do the trick. I can’t imagine they will take any action without a push. Contacting ACTPLA is a good idea as well. Perhaps all the relevant approvals and processes haven’t been followed.

#9
tanber8:32 pm, 22 Nov 12

Hoped not to go down the legal path but it may be it’s the only option as it will surely get worse. Thanks for the responses.

#10
kakosi9:40 pm, 22 Nov 12

You should first call the ACT Government Environment Protection authority as I believe they handle this sort of thing (especially as it’s salt water leaking out). http://www.environment.act.gov.au/environment2/residential_environment_protection_issues

#11
DrKoresh9:54 pm, 22 Nov 12

tanber said :

Hoped not to go down the legal path but it may be it’s the only option as it will surely get worse. Thanks for the responses.

I’ve said it before, but resorting to acts of excessive violence and cruelty can get you far in this world, and at the very least it avoids the ethical issues of getting involved with lawyers.

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