Keeping Roots from Growing in Sewer Lines
It’s natural for tree and plant roots to find a place where there is an abundance of water, oxygen, and nutrients. Sewer lines offer a bountiful source. The incursion of roots in the sewer pipes causes numerous issues, which eventually requires replacement of the pipes. When roots find their way to a leaking pipe, they will quickly grow and attach to the sewer lines, causing blockage of wastewater flow and broken pipes. Once the roots have grown large enough, removing them can cost thousands of dollars. This is why it is crucial to keep roots away from any damaged or broken pipes. In addition to costly repairs and pipe replacement, sewage leaks are unsanitary and can pose serious health risks.
If you live in a wooded area, cutting the tree nearby the sewer line will not necessarily solve the problem. Below are a few precautionary measures to prevent roots from damaging sewer pipes:
- Locate the Sewer Line – Call your local public works department to locate sewer lines and other underground utilities.
- Have the Sewer Line Inspected – Contact a professional plumber to inspect the pipes using a camera. Sewer inspection can address and prevent early signs of a sewer pipe blockage. This can potentially save you costly repairs in the future.
- Root Removal and Repair – If there is a root growing in the sewer lines, a plumber may provide a number of solutions, including:
- Using a hydro cutter or a powered sewer auger to cut up the roots attached to the pipe
- Using chemicals to kill the root structure or temporarily stop their growth
- Repairing the sewer line or replacing badly damaged pipes
- Prevent Future Root Problems – If you want to improve the landscape in your property, plant trees at least 10 feet away from the sewer line. To prevent them from reaching the pipes, create a barrier between the trees and pipes. Use slow-release chemicals (copper sulfate and potassium hydroxide) to discourage excess root growth. Bury metal or wooden barriers vertically at six or eight feet deep to stop the roots from attaching their the lines to the pipes.
- Choose “Sewer-Safe” Trees and Shrubs – Plant slow growing trees (Japanese Maple, Serbian Spruce) with a small root ball. Limit the number of trees and shrubs near the location of the sewer line.
To avoid digging around your property, choose a plumbing company that offers sewer line camera inspection.
For root detection and repairs in Nobleton, Bolton, Newmarket, Tecumseh, and surrounding areas, call Plumbing Authority Inc. at (647) 992-7473. Book a free onsite estimate, or email us with your inquiry. We provide emergency plumbing services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.