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    Interference between trees and sewer systems is likely to occur in old systems and in cracked pipes. Factors that contribute to damage include old pipes with joints, shallow pipes, small-dimension pipes, and fast-growing tree species. Because roots are reported to cause >50% of all sewer blockages, costs associated with root removal from sewers is substantial. In smaller-dimension pipes, root removal every year or every other year is common. Major resources are put into replacement and renewal of existing pipes, which is sometimes accelerated because of root intrusion. Collapse repair costs are greater than new construction, but costs associated with root removal may be one-sixth the cost of pipe replacement/renewal due to roots. Major breaks and stoppages seem to occur more frequently in older systems than in new. Therefore, it seems worthwhile to carry out preventative maintenance of the older parts of the sewer system.

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    Randrup, T.B.; McPherson, E.G.; Costello, L.R. 2001. Tree root intrusion in sewer systems: A review of extent and costs. Journal of Infrastructure Systems 7: 26-31.


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