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Sanitary Sewer Maintenance Aboveground

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New member
What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania

I am wondering which estate has responsibility for the maintenance of trees upon a private and exclusive Sanitary Sewer Easement., the dominant or servient?

Does the answer change if the trees show death and decline consistent with trenching for a sewer line?

Can anyone point me to case law for PA or elsewhere that deals with this issue?

Thanks in advance.


New member
It benefits the Dominant Estate, aka grantee, a private homeowner.

Written Easement attributes maintenance to Grantees stating:

"Grantees shall maintain the Easement as Grantees reasonably deem fit. Grantees may permit any workmen; municipal representatives, agents, employees or workmen; or sewer authority representatives, agents, employees or workmen to enter into an upon the Easement for any purposes related to this Easement."

I am not sure whether this would extend to trees above the Easement. From what I can tell, if this were a municipal sewer Easement, the trees would have been cleared prior to operation.
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New member
Well, most of the homeowners can call up their local public works department or the national 811 "Call Before You Dig" number to find the location of underground utilities. There are also several types of barriers are available to discourage root growth into sewer lines.


Senior Member, Non-Attorney
Maintenance is supposed to be done by the "grantee", but then the word "reasonable" is thrown in. The easement wording is vague and bound to cause conflict.

PS: Great pun in post #4.


Senior Member
Many Deeds of Easement will be clearer in language and include something like, "grantor dedicates to grantee a permanent easement and right of way over, under, upon and through a portion of the property for purposes of operating, maintaining, repairing, replacing or removing the sewer facilities ..." with an added condition that grantee, at grantee's expense, shall restore to as near the original condition as practicable any damage to the easement area or grantor's property.

Your Deed of Easement is vague if you quoted it in its entirety but I can see an argument where maintenance within the area of the sewer line easement would include tree maintenance and that costs of all maintenance (including removal and replacement of dead or dying trees) should be borne by the grantee.

Is the Grantor arguing for or against the removal of the dead or dying trees (or the expense of it)? In other words, what is the issue here?
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