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Easement Maintenance

An easement is a legal interest in property for a specific purpose, such as giving a company access to run a telephone line/water/sewer lines underground. Utility easements that are dedicated to the City of Mountain Home cover water and/or municipal sewer lines, and are typically 12 - 20 feet wide, the main transmission lines for water or sewer may have up to 50-foot easement.  All easements and rights-of-way are indicated on property surveys.  Homeowners are urged to check their property surveys before adding fences or plants to ensure easements and rights-of-way are kept clear. After the easement is granted, the property owner continues to maintain the easement just like the rest of the yard.

What can/cannot be in an easement?
Ground covers or grasses may be planted within an easement. No trees or shrubbery of any size shall be placed within five feet of a manhole or City utility easement.

While fences and landscaping improvements may be installed within the easement, please note that these are subject to disturbance or damage during the City’s use of the easement and may be removed if the City needs access for maintenance or utility line repair.

Fences on properties that have sections over the top of a sanitary sewer main line and within the sewer easement should have either removable sections within the fence or have a gate that is 10 feet wide.

No permanent structures such as building or houses are allowed at any time.

Easement Inspections:
The Mountain Home Water / Sewer department perform inspections of all easements to ensure proper access for maintenance activities. The department performs these inspections on an annual schedule.  Inspections include, but are not limited to, the observation of manholes, examination of easements' condition for mowing and access, and the identification of items such as planted trees, bushes and fences that may obstruct access for routine maintenance.

Easement Maintenance:
To protect our public health and environment, the Mountain Home Water/Sewer Department periodically clears easements of trees and re-growth to prevent root penetration into sewer lines, which cause sewer blockages and sewer overflows. Commercial and residential line segments are cleared as needed. If there are personal items within an easement that restricts the removal of trees, brush or other items, we will ask you to remove personal items from the easement so that we can complete our task.

Fences without removable sections or gates within the sanitary sewer easements are subject to disturbance and/or damage during easement maintenance. The city is not required to replace those items back onto the city’s easement and is not responsible for any damage that may occur, although we will do our very best to preserve your items to the best of our ability. A city employee is onsite at all times during the easement mowing and can address any citizen concerns. If you have questions or concerns, please give us a call at 870-425-5115 we will be happy to address your issues or concerns.

Routine Mowing of Easements:
Easement mowing is done by city crews; we do not contract out the cleaning of our easements. Typical easements are 12 - 20 feet wide, the main transmission lines for water or sewer may have up to 50-foot easements and in most cases the easements will not be cut to full width. Selective vegetation will only be removed where access is needed for routine maintenance or where water / sewer line segments have been problem areas. These areas can consist of tree roots that have damaged the utility lines and caused environmental damage resulting from sewer overflows or water line breakage.

Wide view of downtown Mountain Home