Planting the right tree in the right place

Planting the right tree in the right place

Trees and shrubs are an essential part of our natural and built environment. They provide habitat, shade, cooling, clean air, wind protection and amenity value for a liveable and healthy community.

Yet a tree in the wrong place may cause property damage, safety risks as well as impact your sewerage services and drinking water supply and so we provide guidance to ensure the right trees are planted in the right place.

The information helps residential and business customers when planting trees and shrubs on their properties. It can also be used by local governments and other state agencies as we aim to work collaboratively to plant more trees to bring the cooling benefits for the community while also protecting underground infrastructure.

Our tree planting guide will help you select tree and shrub species to minimise sewerage blockages and water main leaks and breaks.

Healthy Pipes

Use Healthy Pipes, our online map, to locate our network of water and sewerage mains, in conjunction with Dial Before You Dig, noting it provides indicative locations only.


The tool is best used with Google Chrome, Samsung tablet or iPhone/iPad IOS X and above.

How to use our Healthy Pipes online tool

Healthy Pipes online tool

SA Water Tree root barrier trial

SA Water are trailing a new approach to prevent thirsty tree roots impacting South Australian sewers to improve wastewater services for its customers and protect the natural environment. As part of the innovative pilot, a thin layer of high-density plastic liner made from 100 per cent re-used material has been installed two-metres below ground between problematic trees and a sewer connection. The trial is targeting properties which have experienced higher than usual sewer blockages caused by tree root intrusion with an aim to restrict roots moving towards the pipes, without impacting the tree’s health.

With the dig needed to install the barrier just 150 millimetres wide, the end result also reduces the need to excavate large areas of kerbing, footpath and residential driveways, often required for replacing damaged customer connections. This project represents our proactive approach to protecting pipes and customer connections, rather than reactively managing an incident after it’s occurred. Throughout the three-year trial period, SA Water will use CCTV to monitor wastewater pipes at regular intervals, helping to assess the viability of expanding root barrier technology to other suitable locations around South Australia