The Root Of The Sewer Problem

tree roots in sewer pipes

signs of roots in sewer line

Clogged residential sewer lines can be clogged by many things, but the number one cause is tree roots. Although the overgrowth of these roots into sewer lines is an issue that frequently occurs, it can be controlled. Most of the time, the problem isn’t fixed until the sewer is lined with epoxy, or the tree itself is removed entirely.

The problem of the growth of tree roots into the sewer line comes as a result of the nature of all plants. Plants need water to survive. As they grow, they extend their roots deeper into the ground to find more water that will help them make more food and grow bigger. This isn’t a quick process and takes a lot of time to accompish. A sewer line in a residential area is a great place for plants to access the water they need. US sewer lines are made of clay tile or cast iron and have a connection area that separates as time passes. The roots dig their way in these separated areas and start to grow. They also enter in any line breaks that may occur during the passage of time.

The problem of roots in a sewer line can be temporally taken care of by rodding the sewer. This process involves putting a hole in the root of the infestation using a rodding machine. The machine has a root cutter attached to it that will be increased once the hole is made, clearing away the roots. Although this works for a while, the machine won’t really get rid of all the roots, and thus they will grow backly shortly and the process will have to be repeated all over agian.

Another more effective option is to use a jetting technique. This technique uses water being forced through a high pressure nozzle. The water cuts through the roots easily and then Root X is placed in the sewer to get rid of filaments that may still be remaining in the sewer. Root X contains a special chemical that inhibits the growth of roots when it is applied in 6 month intervals. However, this wont effect the exterior roots, and the sewer line can still be weakened by shifts in the ground.

An option better than jetting and rodding exists, and that is replacing the entire sewer line. Doing this takes a lot of time and money, as it may be days before the line can be used if there is a lot of pipe that needs to be replaced. Grass, concrete, and pavement may have to be dug up to access the pipe, and when the process is complete, they will need to be redone.

The best option is to have a lining cured into the pipe. The epoxy lining can be applied a number of ways, but is usually done from upsteam, but can be done downstream. The epoxy coats the pipe and prevents the roots of the tree from entering them. Very little digging is done with this process, and it costs less than digging.