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How Do Tree Roots Get Into My Sewer Pipes

How Do Tree Roots Get Into My Sewer Pipes?

Tree roots and sewer pipes are a match made in heaven – for the tree roots that is; definitely not for the sewer pipes. As for homeowners, this is a sure-fire recipe for disaster.

The Root Of The Problem

Having a lush frontage of trees in and around the property is a source of great pride and joy to all homeowners everywhere. The flip side of it however is where there are trees there are roots that are constantly in search of water and nutrients. With a continuous supply of water running through them at all times, sewer pipes that are in the vicinity of the roots become an irresistible source of water, especially in the dry summer months when water is scarce.

The tiniest fracture or the smallest gap in the joint between two sewer pipes is enough for a single wisp of a tree root to pass through and enter the pipe. That single root wisp will slowly form a mass of roots that could eventually cause a blockage in the sewer.

How & Why a Single Hair-Like Root Can Cause Such Devastation

The roots that manage to get into the line are usually no thicker than a strand of hair. As these roots feed on the water and nutrients that flow out through the sewer pipes, they develop more and more offshoots that create a kind of mesh inside the pipe as well as outside. As this mesh becomes denser, it starts obstructing the solids that flow through the line inside. A small build-up of solids in the root-mesh still allows the water to seep either into the line or out through the cracks. This water gets absorbed by the earth that surrounds the line and you might not notice it at all.


Over a period of time, the entire inner diameter of the sewer pipe gets blocked with accumulated solids and an even denser mesh of roots and even liquid waste is unable to pass through. This stoppage will cause the drains to drain off more slowly at first but will eventually lead a complete back-up inside the home. In most cases, it is only when this happens that people realise there is a problem.

Fixing The Damage

Water jetting the lines to dislodge the roots will clear the blockage but this can be only a temporary measure. If not removed, the roots are going to continue growing and will eventually cause another blockage and will also damage the pipes by widening the cracks. When it comes to clearing your sewer pipes, a job half done can prove to be a very costly affair.

If you think tree roots have blocked and damaged the sewer pipes of your estate, it is best to call in a licensed Sydney blocked drain plumber to resolve the issue. In addition to removing the roots you should also consider taking preventive measures that will minimise future problems.

An experienced plumber will perform a video inspection of your sewer line in order to identify the problem and pinpoint the exact location of the blockage. Only after this is done can a proper course of action be determined, depending upon the severity of the situation.

Category: Blocked Drain