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How Do Tree Roots Grow in Sewer Pipes?

Roots go where water is, especially in drought prone areas or during drought conditions. In the same way that plants will grow toward light, roots will grow towards water sources. Usually these water sources are ground water, but man-made water sources fit the bill as well for thirsty roots. Pipes with cracks or loose fittings can cause water to leak into a lawn, attracting tree and shrub roots in very little time. Pipes do not need to be fully broken or dramatically cracked to attract landscaping roots either. Even small cracks can invite roots in. Once roots infiltrate pipes, they will continue to grow and flourish. The result is a fast-growing root system that can take over pipes. This is especially evident in sewer systems where water is nutrient-dense. Black or gray wastewater in pipes acts as a catalyst to hungry roots by providing them the fertilization needed to grow especially fast. While modern PVC piping is less prone to root infiltration than older clay or cement pipes due to its wall strength and tight fittings, it’s not immune to root growth. Roots can grow in any style or size pipes.

The best way to avoid roots growing in pipes is to plant landscaping as far as possible from sewer lines. However, not many homeowners consider this when planting trees and putting in flower beds. The result can be a dangerous mix of sturdy roots and vulnerable underground pipes. If you suspect that roots are inside your plumbing, it’s best to call a local plumber immediately before they get any worse. Remember, roots won’t just go away on their own. The longer you ignore the problem and leave them, the worse the problem will get. If root growth gets bad enough, it can completely block off sewer lines, compromising the ability to use trenchless sewer repair techniques like sewer rodding or hydro jetting and necessitating that your yard be dug up to remove and replace main lines. This is a much more costly fix, not to mention a much less convenient option because it requires the services of an excavator and major disruptions to your yard. An experienced plumber has the tools and expertise needed to thoroughly remove roots from pipes.

Additional resources:
How fast can roots grow in pipes?
How to keep roots out of pipes
Do PVC pipes keep roots out?
Can hydro jetting get rid of roots?
Outdoor plumbing problems explained
Yard wet spots
Sewer rodding companies nearby
Does sewer rodding remove roots?
Will sewer rodding work for me?
Price to clean out sewer pipes
How much is a pipe inspection with a camera?
What is the charge to clean roots out of pipes?
Find a company that cleans out sewer lines
What is water jetting?
Find a sewer line jetting company
Which gets roots out of pipes: jetting or rodding?