Damage Caused by Tree Roots
Council attempts to prevent problems caused by tree roots through careful street tree selection, as well as installing root barriers and carrying out root pruning where appropriate and practicable.
Council’s Drain Blockage Policy
Wherever there are street trees there will be occasional drain blockages. In Council’s view this is not the fault of the tree, whose roots simply follow water, but of leaking drainage lines (sewage or stormwater) which attract and admit such roots. Responsibility for maintaining these lines rests with the property owner.
Nevertheless, where a Council tree has blocked a line, Council offers a free line-clearing service.
(Note that reasonable rates will be charged if the blockage is found not to be Council's responsibility.)
Where a private plumber has been engaged, Council will consider reimbursing such costs.
The terms and conditions regarding such matters are described in the Drain Blockage Policy
What do do
If your sewage or stormwater line becomes blocled and you think the cause may be roots from a Council tree, call Council on the following numbers:
- Weekdays between 8.30am and 5.00pm
- Emergencies outside those times
0404 073 212 or 0417 027 177
Council will attempt to clear your drain, at no charge, within the terms of the policy.
If you have recently paid a private contractor to clear a blockage which you think was caused by roots from a Council tree, complete the Application form and return it together with a copy of the paid invoice. Note that Council will not consider contributing to invoices that are unpaid or over a year old.
Trees may occasionally be responsible for other damage: branches may fall on cars, roots may push up paving, and so on. If your private property has been affected in this way, please contact Council’s Public Liability Insurance Officer on 9369 8002.
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