Hi all,

I was hoping to get some input on a problem I've run across while constructing a pool.

The excavator hit an old side sewer line in my backyard that runs to the city's abandoned concrete main sewer line further back in the yard. Unfortunately there was a lot of clear water running out of the side sewer pipe and even around it. This presents a problem since I can't have underground water leakage compromising the integrity of the pool shell.

I was told that I need to have a plumber dig close to where the old side line meets the abandoned main line, plug the side line with concrete, and then backfill the hole with dirt. This in theory would stop the flow of water and, in the event of a leak in the future, the water would still be a good distance away from the pool. This won't be an inexpensive proposition because the hole will need to be hand dug for various reasons (proximity to an Oak tree, gas lines, and a big wood playset)

The guy from the city told me it would be $300-$400 but I've had estimates closer to $1600. Everyone I talk to though asks me why I'm not having the city do something about it since the water is originating from the main sewer line which is likely compromised given its age (> 60 years) and lack of maintenance. I've asked the public works manager about it and he claims it's not the city's problem since they plugged the main line at both ends years ago and no longer take responsibility for it. He also said that whoever built my house back in the early 90's should have cut the line and sealed it off at the back of the yard.

My question is whether to a) bite the bullet and lay out the cash to dig out and plug up my old side sewer line or b) press the city to stop the infiltration of water into the abandoned main line that's ending up in my side line?

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

- John