A contractor hired by the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities [BOPU] will be treating roughly 15 miles of sewer mains for roots starting today (Aug.13).

The work by Duke's Root Control is expected to last between 3 and 4 weeks. BOPU spokeswoman Dena Egenhoff said Monday people may notice the Duke's Root Control trucks opening up manholes around the city to put root-killing chemicals into the mains.

She said residents should not notice any effects in their homes from the effort.

But she reminded property owners that the sewer lateral between homes and the sewer main is the homeowner's responsibility, not that of the BOPU. She said some symptoms of a root intrusion can include such things as slow flushing or clogged toilets.

But she said other times the roots can intrude on sewer lines with no signs at all. Over the long term, the roots can cause sewer backups and other serious problems.

Although the contractor hired by the city will be attacking the sewer roots over the next few weeks, Egenhoff said BOPU crews work year-round to battle the sewer root problem. Those efforts include such things as treating sewer mains with an environmentally friendly herbicide and using a robotic camera to inspect pipes for root damage.