Strategies for Preventing and Treating Blocked Sewage Pipes Caused by Tree Roots

Sewage pipes are one of the essential aspects that many homeowners experience challenges with, and in most cases, the roots of trees are the principal cause. These roots grow downwards and look for moisture and nutrients; the sewer and drainage systems can provide them both.

As they grow and start clogging your sewage pipes, they may become a bigger problem requiring further costly repairs and possible danger people’s health. This blog will discuss measures to help prevent future occurrences and avoid the inconvenience and costs of being trapped by the imminent issues associated with blocked sewage pipes due to tree roots.

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Understanding the Problem

Sewage pipes are considered a suitable habitat for tree roots as they have high levels of moisture and nutrients available in this area. In some instances, they can plug the pipe partially or fully since they are thin structures connecting pipes.

There are signs such as when the water takes a long time to drain, the strange smell coming from the drains, the sound of gurgling from the drainages, especially the ones that are connected to the sewage system, and even backup of the sewage pipes. These are problems can occur in your drainage areas, the sewerage system, blocked drain segments and outside drain pipes as well.

Preventative Strategies

1. Regular Inspections

You can avoid such scenario by conducting routine checks on the tree roots, so they do not damage the pipes or sewage. You can also hire a professional plumber and he can do CCTV survey to inspect the inner parts of your sewer drain, and he can determine the earliest signs of root intrusion. Routine checks help to send some simple troubles that could result in major disasters if not detected early.

2. Tree Placement

The positioning of trees and shrubs in a garden should be given thought before planting. It is advisable to avoid planting trees close to sewage and drainage pipes to minimise any chances of roots invading pipes.

If you are not sure of the position of the pipes, consider seeking the services of a professional to conduct a geo-hydrographic survey to assist in determining the position of the underground facilities before planting.

3. Root Barriers

Sewer line protection can be done by installing some root barriers below the ground in order to avoid the penetration of tree roots into the pipes. These barriers are often made of metal or plastic and are installed vertically into the ground close to the tree and the pipes.

4. Pipe Material Selection

Available piping materials are PVC or HDPE, they are less susceptible to root intrusion than traditional clay or concrete. If you have a new sewer line, put in or are re-piping the line, these materials are more resistant to buildup and should be used to avoid future blockage.

Treatment Strategies

You may have the best drainage system for your sewage pipes, the tree roots may still invade the pipes. If this occurs, a treatment directed towards proper drainage must be carried out as early as possible to avoid any further complications.

1. Mechanical Augers or Drills

Mechanical drills, commonly called rooter machines, are frequently used to clear tree roots that block sewage pipes. Such machines use blades that are mounted on a rotary system, hence having the ability to cut through the furthest reaches of roots or any other obstruction that may have blocked the water drain path.

2. Hydro Jetting

Hydro jetting is a process in which high-pressure water jets are used to clear the blockages in sewers. This method is especially efficient in eliminating roots, debris, and other formations that may have accumulated on the sewer surfaces.

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3. Chemical Root Treatments

Another method is using chemical rooters such as foaming root killers to eliminate the roots that exist in the pipes. These treatments are flushed into the system and coat the inside of the pipes, killing roots on contact and preventing regrowth for a period of time.

4. Pipe Relining

If the tree roots have interfered with the usual functioning of the pipes, then you may have to opt for pipe relining. This involves inserting a flexible, resin-coated tube into the damaged pipe. The resin solidifies, effectively creating a new pipe within an old one.

5. Pipe Replacement

This is especially so when pipes have been badly corroded and repairing them is not feasible. This means the ground needs to be excavated and pipes to be laid down all over the affected regions.

Maintaining Clear Drains

1. Regular Maintenance

Blocked sewage pipes are common issues that every homeowner faces from time to time, and the only way of avoiding such problems is by ensuring that the pipes are well maintained by means of using preferred techniques and materials. It’s important for you to take routine maintenance steps, which include hiring a professional plumber to inspect and flush the drain at least once every year.

Daily checks can also provide the opportunity to spot defects and malfunctions at an early stage and ensure the proper performance of the sewer, blocked drainage and blocked outside drainpipes.

2. Mindful Planting

We owe it to our gardens and our local ecosystems to be a little more selective with the plants and trees we bring in. Choose trees that usually grow slowly, those with less anomalous root systems and those that never plant in areas close to sewers.

New trees should be planted a reasonable distance from homes and buildings, and existing ones should be pruned and shaped so that their root systems do not reach the structures.

3. Water Conservation

One adverse effect of water use is that sewage water pipes may become blocked due to overuse of water. It is important to continue watering the garden but ensure that you do so sparingly as this helps save the environment and, simultaneously, decreases the pressure to be imposed on the drainage system.

Mend leaks as soon as possible, install low-flow fixtures and avoid using too much water on a daily basis.

4. Proper Waste Disposal

Never pour fats, oils, grease or anything that will not dissolve in water down the drain. They can cause blockages and foster conditions for tree roots. You should install drain screens, which can collect the debris and should be removed and washed often.


Sewer lines clogged by tree roots are a huge inconvenience for any homeowner as they pose a cost to repair. To minimise root intrusion, one must practice prevention by conducting periodic inspections, selecting appropriate sites for tree planting, and treating the tree roots using chemicals.

However, whenever there are blockages in the system, auger cutting and high-pressure water jetting, among other procedures, can help rehabilitate the blocked drainage system. Ensure that your drainage system is in excellent state to provide a healthy and functional home plumbing solution.

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