Preventing Drain Problems from Tree Roots
Your sewer drain system is vulnerable to invasion. Trees growing near the underground sewer line on your property send out long feeder roots in search of nutrients. Because a sewer pipe contains water and organic waste it’s a prime target for these small but powerful roots. Many older homes were built with sewer piping that is especially prone to the effects of tree root intrusion—clay pipes with mortar-filled joints and concrete pipes, in particular. However, almost any pipe with seams can be invaded by aggressive tree roots. Once they intrude into the pipe, clogs form due to expanding root growth and expensive, messy sewage backups into the house are the inevitable result. The best control of tree root issues is prevention. Here are some things you can do to stop tree root infiltration of the sewer drain system before it happens.
- Be aware of the path of your underground sewer line (a plumber can tell you where it is.) Avoid planting trees directly above or near the pipe.
- Choose trees with naturally less aggressive root systems. Fast-growing tree species are particularly likely to send invading feeder roots into sewer lines. A local nursery or the horticulture department at a nearby college can provide information on non-aggressive tree species that grow well in your local climate.
- If you already have fast-growing trees on your property near the sewer line, consider removing them.