Skip to comments.Looking for plumbing advice (trees breaching into our pipes through the cities connection)
Posted on 09/27/2012 4:17:45 PM PDT by Red in Blue PA
We recently had some sewage make it's way up from the drains in our basement. When plumbers were called out, they found that where our pipe connects with the main sewer line, the terra cotta junction has been breached by tree roots. Keep in mind this is out about 10 feet into the street from the curb and our pipes are intact......the only part which has been breached was the city's terra cotta junction to the main sewer line. And this was shown by a camera sent down into the pipe. When talking to the plumber's however, we were shocked to hear them say that we are responsible for digging up the street, and replacing weak joints which are not even ours! And the job to do this would cost approximately $20,000!
Has anyone been through something similar? I believe this is entirely unfair and would like to fight it, but I would like to hear from people who may have gone through something similar, as I am learning that this is fairly common. But I am still shocked that we are responsible for something 10 feet from the curb, and which has been broken but is not even ours, as our pipe is still intact.
I never thought I could like government any less.
If its under the street, then its their job to fix it
Call your city maintenance department because it sounds to me like your plumber is trying to scam you.
Many sewer utilities are responsible only for the main sewer and the person whose lateral is involved is responsible for everything else including the tap.
Doesn’t sound right to me. I would bitch to my city council person. Flush some copper sulfate crystals down your toilet a couple times per week to kill the roots.
That’s a very good point. You should always call them before a plumber in case it is the city’s problem.
Get some weed killer that is intended to be connected on the
end of a hose (concentrated) and flush it down the drain.
Repeat a little later.
The weed killer will be absorbed by the tree roots and that will kill them further up the pipe than just a drain cleaner.
Well, I think here it stops at the property line or where it meets the city line at the property
There are materials and equipment today where, for some situations, they can seal up a pipe from the inside without digging. I saw this on one of those home repair shows, but I have no idea which one. You might want to google a bit.
It may be happening to other houses. With these local politicians, the towns are probably all going broke, and they probably may need the right motivation, i.e., a lot of angry constituents or legal action, to get them to crack open the checkbook. For what municipal funds Should be going towards. I bet they’re right there to collect property taxes, though.
More than likely his can be fixed with a “no dig” option. Google “slip lining,or pipe bursting” for contractors in your area. Still expensive but you won’t have to bond a road cut.
When we were discussing options, I wondered if there was something similar to the tire sealant which seals from the inside. Will need to Google that. Thanks. Most likely a short term fix though.
I tried to find the story but I know there was a fraud case last summer involving plumbers that were doing the same thing you mentioned here in and around Minneapolis. But maybe the guy is telling the truth and that is the job that has to be done. Talk to the city and get three bids to do the work.
***Flush some copper sulfate crystals down your toilet a couple times per week to kill the roots.***
A friend of mine did that. It killed every tree on the local line.
He then had a rotary cutter company come in. They rooted out his line and left. He still had problems so he called a different roto-rooter company.
They hit a blockage which would not budge, so the pulled out their cutting head, and caught in it was the cutting head which had broken off from the last rooter company he had called.
Once that was out of the way, they then rooted out the line and he never had another problem.
Will definitely look into that. Do you know if that process can be used where the pipe meets the main sewer line?
Plumber is giving a ball park IF its on the homeowners side or the run and probably wouldnt do the job.
FWIW, I had a similar issue in Livonia MI.
Long story short, I was responsible for everything up to and including my connection to the main. Which was across the street from my house.
The repairs did not dig up the street though, just all of my front yard and they slid the pipe through under the street without digging that up.
I would check on your local laws though for sure. What else can they say other than no?
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