If I am concerned about tree roots damaging our septic system, do I have any recourse at all?

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If I am concerned about tree roots damaging our septic system, do I have any recourse at all?

I live in the county, in not the incorporated part of town. We have a septice system. The drain field has a baffling system in it. It is placed within code abut 5 feet from the property line. My neighbors have planted cypress trees 10 feet or less from the system. I am worried that the tree roots will damage our system. Can I do anything about this? I called to inquire about it and they hung up on me.

Asked on January 2, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Virginia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately you have no legal recourse against your neighbor if his cypress trees that he planted on his property have roots that travel onto your property causing a problem with your septic field. There is a lot of law on the subject that you have written about throughout all states in this country. The rationale for no liablity is that the conduct of the tree's roots that may or may not impact a septic system is not negligence by the person who planted the trees or owned the land where the trees are situated.

What you should do is place root preventer in your septic system to prevent roots from growing into the perforated leach lines on a routine basis.


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