First, I must apologize for the wall of text. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
Looking for some advise on what to do with regards to our neighbours leaking pool.
To cut a long story short, our neighbour has a leaking pool, but refuses to do anything about it.
For the last 4 or so years, our house has suffered extensive water damage, in every room in the house except one. Rooms affected include our lounge room, dining room, kitchen, spare bedroom #1, master bedroom and main hallway. Damage is to the drywall, timber framing of the house, kitchen cabinets/cupboards and to the vinyl laminate flooring. The only room in the house which doesn't have any water damage in the house is the room furthest away from the pool.
We thought we had a standard leaking pipe or similar, so started at the top and worked our way down (literally). To date, we've replaced the roof, had the plumbing pressure tested and piping identified, replaced all the gutters around the house, poured a concrete slab down the side of the house to aid in surface water removal, dug a large Ag Drain down the non-pool side of the house. This has all had little to no effect on the water damage to the inside of the house. As it stands, we have a small sized puddle in the lounge room (room closest to the pool) a timber stud which is constantly wet, and concrete floor in every room is damp and cold throughout the rest of the house. Mould growth is prevalent throughout the house (except the rooms not affected by water damage. I have included a google earth image of my house and the neighbors pool - everything inside the blue rectangle is water damage, with the red spots being the worse areas affected. Note that the neighbors house is affected. He has a pump on the side wall of his house to pump water out of his downstairs area after rain.
I've had 3 different civil engineers come to inspect the house, and they all give me a different answer. The first told me to seal all the weep holes in the house to prevent standing water getting into the house. The second told me to remove a strip of concrete from around the side of the house and install drainage next to the weep holes to help water get out. The third was the best, and suggested we investigate the pool as a water source.
Approximately 2 months after the 3rd civil engineer inspected, the neighbour drained his pool to fix 3 cracks in the liner of his pool. His pool was drained for ~7 days, before he filled it back up. After just 2 days of an empty pool, our house was dry. There was no more puddle in the lounge room and our always-wet timber stud was dry. This is was the first time my wife and I had ever seen our house dry in the 4 years that we've lived here. When the neighbour filled his pool up again, the house was wet again after just 3 days.
I approached the neighbour about his pool, but he was adamant he fixed it. I've approached him multiple times since then, and he denies having any trouble with his pool. I know it's his pool because of the following:
- Our house is constantly wet, even during 3 months of no rain during the middle of the year
- My yard (both back and front) "swells" during even the lightest amount of rain. I have taken water samples from my yard to be tested. The water contains both chlorine & cyanuric acid - both chemicals commonly found in pools & not found in nature (this is subsurface water, not standing surface water i.e overflow)
- We've only seen our house dry when he drained the pool (Aug 2016)
- His wife told us "They've had issues with their pool for quite some time"
- He was water issues with his own house. He has a large hole dug underneath his house which fills up with water every time it rains, which he has to pump out
- The only houses in our entire street with water issues are my house and his house.
Despite the evidence, the neighbour refuses to believe he has a problem with his pool. In an effort to at least convince him he may have an issue, we offered to re-reimburse him if he drained his pool and got a different pool person into inspect. This resulted in a yelling match, and ultimately ended in refusal. We have not talked since. I suspect the neighbour knows he has issues with his pool, but cannot afford to fix the pool, so is doing his best to avoid the situation and hoping it goes away.
I am at a loss as to what to do next. I have considered hiring a lawyer, but I do not think that it will accomplish much. All my solicitor will do is write a letter of demand, which will be countered by a letter of demand from their lawyer. This neither helps me solve the issue, and only makes 2 lawyers richer. I have also talked to council, who have said that it is a civil matter and they cannot intervene. I have also talked to my insurance, but they cannot seem to send 2 inspectors who can agree on anything.
I have considered installing a massive AG drain down the side of my house, but would have to remove some of the previously installed concrete to do so - something i'm not overly keen on.
Does anybody have any ideas of things I could do to try and fix it? I'm sort of at a loss on how to solve it. My Wife and I are desperate to get this sorted so we can move on with our lives.
TL:DR; neighbour has leaking pool, refuses to fix it or accept our money to look into it.