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Charged stormwater line to tank leaking!

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  1. #1
    yjs
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    Default Charged stormwater line to tank leaking!

    Hi all, we moved into our new house at the end of May and have been frantically busy with WFH, home schooling etc and have only used the rain water once (approx 20min of lawn watering). Sydney hasn't had much rain during winter this year either so I haven't really noticed anything strange.

    Anyway, we've got a 5000L rainwater tank at the back of the block adjacent to the pool. From what I understand the downpipes all lead to a single 100mm charged line to the tank (about 15m or so to the back of the block), with the overflow to street kerb pipe being next to the inlet pipe, obviously in the opposite direction. The in/out pipes are buried along the fence line. See pic below:

    Before:
    img_1189_original.jpg

    After:
    img_1938.jpg

    So we've had a bit of rain earlier this week and I thought I'll water my lawn with the rainwater. Lo and be hold, nothing came out of the tap that's directly from the tank. Checked the pump, then the tank. There's nothing in there. My previous house also had issues with charged lines and rainwater tank (small leak in the line) so I feared the worst. I chucked a garden hose down to the nearest downpipe from the gutter and turned on the water for more than 2 hours. Nothing went into the tank. Went around to the tank area behind the pool fence and found a crapload of water pooled all around the tank slab and pebbled garden bed. Turned the water off and within an hour the water was all gone.

    Called the builder and they said they will contact their plumber who will try to attend in the next few days. But with the Covid lockdown this is not guaranteed.

    I reckon the leak would be substantial for NO WATER at all to be entering the tank after 2 hours with the garden hose. Also I have no way of knowing where the leak is between the house and tank because it's all covered by concrete and travertine paving. I'm really hoping it's somewhere close to the stormwater inlet pipe to the tank as it's the only area that's within a garden bed.

    img_1930.jpgimg_1935.jpgimg_1927.jpg

    I'm really concerned by the fact that all stormwater is now being piped to the tank area to seep into the soil, and in a big rain event I could potentially end up a large amount of water in a short timeframe. Should I worry about structural integrity of the concrete and pool? And what would be potential repair for a leak that's under concrete, short of ripping apart the concrete and paving?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

  2. #2
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    after 2 hours, is there anything coming out the gutter? I just wonder if there is a possibility that the tank wasn't connected and all stormy runs direct to the gutter?

    If you stuck the hose up either one, you should be able to quickly confirm if one of those pipes are connected to the street gutter outlet (assuming this is your storm water point of discharge)
    If successful then you've likely narrowed down the issue to be one pipe from the house to the tank.

    If that doesn't work, then could be a bigger issue with either both broken pipes or not connected to the pipes running to the tank....and depends on where the issues is, still could be an easy to fix.

    Depending on how deep the pipes are, you could try to fill the pipe from the tank end as well to see if a wet spot appears between the tank and house.

    Just hope the issue isn't under the paving around the pool.

  3. #3
    yjs
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    Thanks. I forgot the check the kerb and gutter outlet on the street yesterday...

    I will do another test and check that later if I get a chance.

    The stormwater plan shows all downpipes connecting to the water tank and only the overflow from the tank as well as two grates on the driveway connecting to a pit in the front yard, then to the outlet on the kerb.

  4. #4
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    A guess would be the paving concretors drove a peg/pegs through the storm drain for their boxing.. Or the pool mob have damaged the drain.
    Camera down the drain may tell.

  5. #5
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    Dig down in the garden bed near the tank where you can to expose the pipe, that is the only area exposed that will allow a quick look.

    If no breaks found pour some bright food colour in and turn on the hose, keep looking for where the colour appears first. Wont be an exact location but might give a general idea, anything else will probably need a camera.

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