Sewer lines have a large root system that can grow over time and create some major problems for the city. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the chances trees will cause issues for sewer lines as they grow.
City Trees Can Cause Sewer Line Problems
There are a few ways to deal with this problem, but how much damage they cause is dependent on where they were planted originally. Most cities rely heavily on trees near sewer lines because it offers shade, and wildlife habitat and helps prevent erosion of topsoil.
Planting trees and shrubs in the fall is a terrific way to add curb appeal and seclusion to a neighborhood or house in the Mid-Atlantic, but if done incorrectly, they may cause significant damage to a plumbing system.
Ways To Avoid Tree-Root Plumbing Issues
Root growth from certain trees and bushes may penetrate a home’s plumbing system over time or even create foundation fractures. However, this does not imply that your yard must be devoid of greenery. Your pipes and plants can cohabit without issue if you arrange the correct landscaping for your area.
Here are some suggestions for avoiding tree root-related plumbing issues:
- Understand the location of all of your sewage lines and pipes in your yard. Before installing any landscaping, use the national 811 “Call Before You Dig” hotline to locate subterranean utilities such as cables and wires.
- Measure the distance between the plant and your house to ensure that the root system will not interfere with subterranean pipelines or the foundation. Water and sewage lines should be installed 20-30 feet away from trees with spreading, water-hungry roots.
- Plants and bushes need sufficient water and nutrients in the soil to avoid infiltrating sewage and water lines in search of it.
- Plant trees and shrubs that have a less aggressive root structure.
- Keep your sewage system in good working order. Pipes provide roots with the water, nutrients, and oxygen they need. Roots will soon grow toward a damaged pipe, exacerbating the problem.
- To assist prevent root development near sewage lines, use a root growth barrier. These slow-acting chemicals keep roots out of sewage lines. Physical barriers made of metal or wood that are buried 6-12 inches deeper than the pipe and run vertically adjacent to sewage lines may also be used.
Which Trees Are The Most Likely To Wreak Havoc On Your Home’s Plumbing?
When it comes to root penetration of your plumbing system, staying away from trees that are known to be aggressive in their root system nature or need large quantities of water can save you thousands.
Here are some of the worst plants and shrubs for sewage line root infiltration:
Because hindsight is 20/20, you may already have mature landscaping and are afraid that tree root intrusion is causing your plumbing problems. Multiple plumbing fixtures backing up at the same time or a shower that backs up when you flush the toilet are also symptoms that roots are in your sewage system.
A plumbing professional can clean the roots and give a free video pipe inspection service of the lines if you fear roots are causing damage to your plumbing systems.
Many plumbers specialize in sewage line repair and replacement. Root infiltration of plumbing pipes is a serious problem that should not be ignored. Roots that are aggressive will continue to grow and threaten your whole plumbing system. A good plumbing professional will be ready to handle your pipe inspection requirements with same-day service, seven days a week.
You can view pictures of tree roots in sewer lines here to get an idea of what this situation looks like.
Tree roots are not your only problem when it comes to pipes. Some issues start inside the house, rather than outside and underground. You can learn more in Are These Toilet Paper Alternatives Safe for my Plumbing?
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I protect my sewer pipes from tree roots?
A: Keep the tree roots from getting near your sewer pipes by placing a barrier between them such as light rubble or mulch.
Can tree roots cause sewer problems?
A: Yes, tree roots can cause sewer problems. They may also grow over the top of pipes and block them, causing a backup in your home’s plumbing system or flooding from broken water lines.
How close to a sewer line can you plant a tree?
A: According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, an acceptable distance from a sewer line is 12 feet from the inlet or outlet of the pipe.
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