How To Control Tree Roots in Sewer Lines

Having beautiful foliage in your garden can help beautify your home. It can also contribute to a relaxing atmosphere. Who doesn’t remember spending lazy summer afternoons under the shade of trees in the backyard? Trees provide shade, and they keep the air clean.

However, there is one problem with having trees in your yard—their roots can grow into your sewer lines. If you find yourself covering your nose from a reeking smell coming from the yard, then your sewer lines have probably been punctured by tree roots.

Controlling tree roots in sewer lines will involve determining the source of the problem, flushing it out, and treating your sewer lines for about a year, to ensure that tree roots don’t get in again.

What you need:

  • Sewer camera
  • Sanafoam vaporooter
  • Copper sulfate
  • High pressure water blaster
  • A lot of water

Prevention. The best defense against having tree roots in your sewer lines in the first place is to use PVC piping. Older homes, however, might still be using earthenware sewer lines, which are prone to breakage from tree root growth, which can extend far into the ground. However, replacement of sewer pipes with PVC will be quite expensive and cumbersome. If you are not ready to shoulder this cost, then you can look into several alternatives.

Copper sulfate. One way to treat tree roots in your sewer lines is by flushing copper sulfate crystals through your drain. Copper sulfate will help clear the blockage in your sewer lines, and will also kill any odor-causing bacteria. You would usually need two pounds of copper sulfate per treatment. Measure about a cup of copper sulfate and drop these into your toilet bowl. Flush the toilet, and put in more of the crystals until you finish the 2 lbs container. After the container is empty, keep on flushing the toilet several times to make sure the crystals go through the sewer lines thoroughly.

After treatment, you would need to make sure your bathroom has adequate ventilation. You may have to leave your home for a few hours, to avoid inhalation of potentially suffocating fumes.

Repeat this procedure every two to three months, to make sure tree roots don’t grow back into your sewer lines.

Sewer camera. If you would like to seek help from the pros, plumbers can use a device called a sewer camera to visually inspect where the tree roots have lodged themselves. This is basically a CCTV camera attached to a tube, which can snake through your drainage pipes and sewer lines. The technology also uses a method of locating the camera head, so the plumbers know what exact spot the sewer lines are being broken into by the roots. Once they are able to identify the source of the problem, you can use several solutions against the tree roots.

Pressurized water. The first solution is to shoot highly pressurized streams of water into your drainage and sewer lines. This should clear away any debris and roots in the lines.

Commercial chemicals. Apart from blasting water into the sewer lines, you can also use commercial solutions, like the “Vaporooter,” which is made of herbal solutions that cut away tree roots.

Pruning tree and plant roots and stems actually encourages more growth. So you should expect that roots will keep coming back weeks and months after first treating your sewer lines with any of these solutions. You will therefore need to repeat treatment every two to three months, up to about a year, until the tree roots are fully in control.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: