How to Keep Tree Roots Out of Your Septic System

tree roots

There are several benefits to planting trees in your yard, including added shade and visual appeal. However, a tree planted too close to your septic system can also cause a lot of damage. Before planting new trees or before installing a new septic system, it is important for you to examine several factors.

How do tree roots affect your septic system?

Tree roots are drawn to sources of water. They can “sense” areas of moisture, especially those near your septic system. Since the roots cannot penetrate the actual tank, they instead grow toward weak areas of the pipes. Over time, the roots break through the pipes, causing leaks, clogs, blockage, and long-term damage.

tree roots

How can you keep tree roots out of your septic system?

There are several methods for removing tree roots, as well as from keeping them from becoming a problem in the first place.

Preventative measures

It is always best to prevent potential problems before they ever become a reality. If you are building a new home, have your septic system installed away from large groups of trees. If you are planting new trees, avoid planting them too close, and avoid planting trees with fast-growing roots (such as willow trees and birch trees).

The key to planting trees strategically is to avoid the route of the pipes. If you are not sure of the layout, you can have a plumber map it out for you. Using a little foresight can save you a lot of regret.

Chemical treatments

If you purchased a home with trees already near the septic system, but the roots have not yet reached their target, you can halt root growth with some chemical treatments. While this is not a long-term solution, it does buy you some time to have the trees professionally removed.

Manual removal

If the roots have already penetrated your septic pipes, manual mechanical removal is likely necessary. The plumber will insert a bladed, rotating, “root clearing tool” into the pipes and shear the roots away from the pipes. This is followed by a chemical treatment and is very effective in unblocking your pipes.

Again, the possibility remains that the roots will eventually rework themselves back into the pipes. Trees and septic systems cannot remain close neighbors indefinitely.

Does routine maintenance matter?

As with most appliances and systems, septic systems require professional inspections on a regular basis. Leaky pipes produce more moisture, encouraging tree roots to grow faster. Performing routine maintenance prevents small problems from developing into large ones. It saves you money and protects you from whole-system breakdowns.

septic tank pumping company truck for Norway Septic granger indiana

Taking the time to schedule an inspection now can save you a major headache down the line. Norway Septic Inc. is a service oriented company dedicated to providing excellent septic tank cleaning and septic tank pumping services to homeowners and business owners in the Michiana area. We take pride in doing the job that others leave behind. If you have further questions or if you would like to schedule a septic tank cleaning by one of our professionals, call us today.

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