Usually a public tree does not need to be removed when there is tree root private sewer lateral conflict.
In most cases, there is a break in the private sewer lateral prior to root infiltration, which can be caused through a combination of the degradation of construction materials, settling, or shrinking and expanding of our natural soils which leads to the private sewer lateral leaking. Once there is a leak, root infiltration is possible.
Public trees may be considered for removal once a permit for private sewer lateral repair has been pulled from our Building and Safety Division, only if the tree prevents the repairs from taking place. During the repair process staff works with the homeowner and plumbing company to evaluate whether or not the tree will be impacted during the repair process. In some cases, roots may need to be pruned. In most scenarios public trees can be retained through this process.
If a public tree prevents a sewer lateral repair, the City’s Urban Forestry Program will remove the tree.