My property had an easement that allowed the local municipality to run a water transmission line through my basement. The pipe runs through two foundation walls and is approximately 26". The easement was abandoned when they eliminated all future needs of the pipe when they upgraded the entire water system, which relocated all transmission piping. The pipe is very deteriorated and rusted - the condition poses a major risk to my house. I've asked the municipality to remove the pipe, which the initially agreed, but then cited the easement and decided to leave it in place. They have acknowledged it is their responsibility to maintain the pipe, which means "if it leaks, we'll fix it" - that's not maintenance, that's repair... Since they've abandoned the easement and left their property, which causes a major burden (moisture and condensation, mold and mildew, rot, bugs and pests, rust exposure, flooding, structural damage, etc.), is there a way I can be compensated or a way to sue them for trespassing? The goal is to have them just remove the pipe instead of dealing with the legal hassle.

  • Two questions: Where are you? And as Dale say, what exactly do you mean when you say they've "abandoned" the easement? Do you mean that they have legally abandoned the easement, or simply that they are not using the pipe right now?
    – Just a guy
    Aug 18, 2021 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


What makes you think they have abandoned the easement?

Just because they are not presently using it and have no plans for doing so doesn't mean they've abandoned it. They might decide to use it again in 1 year, 10 years, 100 years.

Unless and until they agree to the easement being extinguished and the title actually being updated to show this (which usually involves you buying their property right off them and paying the surveying/registration/legal fees) they still have an easement and they can leave their pipe there if they want to.

If you negotiate for the easement to be extinguished you can also negotiate for them to remove the pipe (which will no doubt increase the price you have to pay) or to leave it and you can then pay someone else to remove it later.

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