Of course building control is a serious business but we've asked surveyors to give us examples of amusing or strange occurrences they've had in the course of their job. This is the first of occasional posts on the things they've shared with us...
...the first is the story of Peter's goldfish
One of our building control surveyors got more than he bargained for when he went on a routine site inspection a few years ago.
Peter Hazelwood, Principal Building Control Surveyor at Bedford Borough Council, was asked to inspect a foundation dig. This is a common occurrence for a surveyor, but he knew that the ground in the area he was visiting was clay and that it had been raining hard - so it wasn't difficult to work out that he would be be met with water sitting in the trench.
However, instead of the 50mm or so of rainwater he expected to see in the 900mm dig, he found the trench was absolutely full of water. He asked the owner to re-book the inspection when the water had been pumped out.
Now, just as he was about to leave the site, Peter noticed out of the corner of his eye some goldfish swimming around the trench.
This isn't something we expect to see in a foundation dig!
Turns out, the builders had cut through a pipe which served as a drain from a fish pool, and the contents (water and fish) had involuntarily shifted home.
What happened to our little golden tiddlers?
Did they find a brand spanking new pool to swim in?
We certainly hope so.
In the course of a public service building control career you'll come across all sorts of unexpected situations. You'll also meet a wide range of people, from home owners to architects to fish owners, and that's the beauty of a career in building control. No two days are ever same.