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Question DetailsAsked on 9/18/2012

How problematic is it that my neighbor's house has at least one wastewater drain going into my wastewater pipe? Our waste is not metered.

This is San Francisco and our houses literally touch. When in the crawl space I found the pipe, which goes from his downstairs unit into my sewage line. I know I can technically force him to redo it, but is it worth making an enemy?

We pay for waste as 95% of our fresh water, so this doesn't hurt me right now. It might hurt if his tenant clogs my drains, or pushes my pipes over capacity. Anything else I'm overlooking?

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2 Answers


Should the drain become clogged both homes can start backing up. The person with the lowest drain will be in for a rude awakening. The lowest point usually will rise up and spill over depending on the amount of wastewater being discarded. It may not be your sewage.
At this point you may consider a nice, healthy discussion about the situation with the neighbor and even offer to pay half the cost. Tell him/her about your concerns proving that the concern should unfortunatley theirs also.
I've seen similar situations before and the neighbors both agreed. It turned out to be a bit expensive but all agreed it was a health hazard. Halfzies!

Answered 7 years ago by Guest_94015629


It is not uncommon to have one sewer pipe for 2 homes. It is a good idea to put a sewer check valve on one or both of the pipes if the pipe has very little elevation difference from the main sewer pipe or on one of the homes, in your case if your pipe has less elevation than your neighbers sewer pipe then have a contractor put a check valve on your line and it will keep the sewerage from your neighbers house from going into your house. I would guess that it will cost about $150 dollars for the materials and 3 - 4 hours in labor to crawl under the house and install the check valve.
PS. If you do not have a clean out accessable from outside your house, then you might want to have a clean out installed as well (on the down hill side of the check valve)

Answered 7 years ago by leakdetective

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