I live in an apartment located in part above a small room containing a set of three centrifugal water pumps, and somehow I can hear the sound of these pumps in my apartment. I've been yelling at building administration for over a year to fix the problem, but in reality, this problem is proving to be quite a mystery.

At first I assumed it was a simple issue of rather loud pumps being loud, but when I finally gained access to this pump room, I was shocked to discover that these pumps were, almost, "whisper quiet". I confirmed that the noise that I hear is in fact being made by the pumps, but how this noise is actually louder in my apartment, than when standing next to the pumps has us all baffled.

Specifically this noise is a sort of oscillating, high pitched sound. I was able to record it on my phone (while standing in my apartment), and played it to a stationary engineer buddy of mine, who suggested that this "oscillation could be due to the coupling being out of alignment (or badly worn)."

And because of the high pitch of this sound, it cuts through everything... watching TV... listening to music, etc. I can always hear it!

What's even more bizarre is that I can even hear this sound when I am standing outside the building. Given that this is not an issue of decibels, what could be causing this sound to permeate through the building as it does, and what measures could be taken to abate this sound?

I wonder if it is a case of vibration from the pumps being transferred either through the very structure of the building, or perhaps through the pipes the pumps are connected to?