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.”


Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! I call bullshit. The same tree that can lift a sidewalk flag up to two feet above the other flags can't "Damage Sewer pipes?" Bullshit Bullshit bullshit

Anonymous said...

Again NYC DPR spokeperson is dead wrong. Tree roots that wander and forage for moisture and nutrients all year 'round will find their way in sewer services if not by hairline cracks in clay pipes but force their way into joints and couplings.

Rules exist for NOT installing trees too near to electric and gas utilities. But the parks tree planting efforts ignore those rules with home sewer and water service connections often installing trees right on top of the sewer service. Years or decades later often resulting in blocked pipes. And why pre tell does the homeowner have to pay for sewer replacement when the City and their tree is at fault.