Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Homeowners must pay for sewer repairs
From the Times Ledger:
Laurelton homeowners say city sidewalk trees are wreaking havoc with their sewer lines, leaving them few options but to replace the lines themselves at a hefty cost.
Through its Forestry Services, the city Parks Department removes dead sidewalk trees, prunes their branches and repairs sidewalks damaged by the trees’ roots. A spokesman for the department said the responsibility of maintaining and repairing sewer systems falls on the shoulders of property owners.
“Tree roots cannot damage sound pipes and only intrude if they have been afforded access by a break or perforation,” the spokesman said. “Older sewage lines sometimes rupture due to deteriorating joints or settling earth, seeping water and nutrients into the surrounding soil. Once roots discover these leaks, they tend to grow towards and enter the source.”
“Parks does not permit the removal of healthy trees, even in cases where roots may be interfering with a sewer,” the spokesman continued. “There are a number of temporary fixes that can be explored, including the use of commercial drain cleaning products or professional root clearing services. However, the only real lasting solution is to repair the defective sewer line with impervious, watertight piping.”