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Tree Tagging – What Does it Mean?

As part of the Out of District Wastewater (ODWW) Project, we are required to keep detailed records of where we are laying the buried pipes that will be used to carry wastewater to our water treatment plant or reuse water to irrigation systems (a future option that will be available for Phase 1 properties only at this time). As incremental indicators, we tag trees with orange ribbon. The majority of the trees have an associated number attached to them, which we use as location markers for our “as-builts”, or drawings indicating all specifications of the construction that has taken place.

Example of an As-Built

“We’ve heard a number of concerns from residents about these tags indicating trees to be cut down. This is not the case at all!” said Stephanie Threinen, Public Information Liaison for LMUD. “We love our trees (well, not so much the cedars) and want to preserve them as much as you do.” Before we began this project, we consulted with the Lakeway arborist on what we need to consider while digging near these trees. Luckily, the oaks in this area have shallow root systems so we are safely able to bore under them without causing any damage. If boring is not an option, the massive expanse of these root systems can cause an issue for us, however we’ve learned that it’s common for trees to withstand the removal of up to 50 percent of their root system – which we would come nowhere near – or one third removal to maintain stability. “At most, we would be cutting through several of the root offshoots and we stay far enough away to minimize hitting any main arteries, as I would call them,” said Tommy Farrell, field crew supervisor for LMUD.

So far we have yet the need to cut down any trees! Our plans have accounted for them as well as the buried utilities so that we are able to safely maneuver around them. We will continue to monitor the health of any trees we may have impacted for two years following the project. As always, we rely on helpful tips from our customers who are our eyes and ears of the community. If you see anything that could be a water-services-related issue in our coverage area, please give us a call!