Why Do Roots Grow In To Septic Tank? (Best solution)

Unfortunately,a tree planted in a backyard may slowly extend its roots towards the septic field system. This root attraction to septic fields is due to the high levels of moisture common in most septic fields. Tree roots possess an uncanny ability to locate the pipes on a septic system and work their way inward.


  • Tree roots are attracted to the moist environment inside the pipes that lead from the house to the septic tank and can grow through small cracks or incompletely-sealed joints. Once inside, they can quickly grow large enough to restrict water flow. You’ll probably notice sluggish drains, slow-flushing toilets and other symptoms of clogged pipes.

How do you keep roots from growing into a septic tank?

Copper sulfate is effective at killing roots growing in drain fields and septic tanks. Not only does copper sulfate kill already existing roots, but it also discourages the growth of new roots and keeps growing roots out of septic systems.

Can tree roots ruin a septic tank?

Trees can cause significant damage to a septic system. Over time, tree roots can wreak havoc on the pipes and drain lines that lead out to the sewer or to your privately installed septic system. As a result, the roots can grow into the walls of the pipes and block the ability to drain water and waste.

How do you get rid of roots in a drain field?

There are special chemicals designed to kill tree roots in a septic tank system so they don’t grow back. Copper sulfate septic treatments are the most common. This method is especially effective as it creates a poison barrier within the soil that kills the tree roots before they can grow into the pipe.

How do you get rid of roots in main sewer line?

Copper sulfate is a natural herbicide and will kill off the small tree roots invading your sewer pipes. Flushing half a cup of the crystals down the toilet should do the trick.

Should I use root killer in my septic system?

K-77 Root Killer should clear your system of roots in anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. If you have a septic tank and the root infiltration is either in the main waste line (the line that brings sewage to your septic tank) or in the tank itself, then you should use Foaming Root Killer to kill those invading roots.

How do you stop root intrusion?

To effectively stop tree roots, the barrier should extend from the soil surface to a depth of at least 2 feet. Some roots may still grow under the barrier, but intrusion into the drainfield should be greatly reduced. Install the barrier fabric at least 3 feet from the drainfield so as not to disrupt the system.

What trees are bad for septic systems?

The Worst Plants to Grow Over Septic Systems

  • Pussy willow shrubs.
  • Japanese willow shrubs.
  • Weeping willow trees.
  • Aspen trees.
  • Lombardy poplar trees.
  • Birch trees.
  • Beech trees.
  • Elm trees.

How far can you plant a tree from a septic tank?

Any trees planted in your yard should be at least as far away from the septic tank as the tree is tall. For example, a 20-foot-tall tree should be planted at least 20 feet away from the septic tank. Some trees need to be located even further from a septic tank.

What to plant around septic tanks?

Herbaceous plants, such as annuals, perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses are generally the best choices for use on a septic drain field. Ornamental grasses also offer the advantages of having a fibrous root system that holds soil in place, and providing year-round cover.

How much does it cost to get roots out of pipes?

Getting tree root removed from your sewer line will cost you between $100 and $600. Expect to pay an extra $350 for a sewer camera inspection.

How much does it cost to fix roots in pipes?

It can also be done by installing and inflating a new lining within the existing pipe. A trenchless repair can be done for $60 to $250 per foot of pipe. The total cost will increase if tree roots must be removed from the sewer lines.

Does insurance cover roots in pipes?

Root damage is not covered by homeowners insurance or home warranty coverage.

Tree Roots in Septic Tanks: The Dangers and Fixes

Residents who have a big number of trees in their yard put themselves at risk of having problems with their septic system. This condition develops gradually over a lengthy period of time, but it can become a serious problem if it is not properly addressed. Thanks to some do-it-yourself root management and expert septic assistance, it may be possible to pull tree roots out of a septic tank for good. The growth of tree roots occurs at all times of the year. Trees are extremely hardy, and they can withstand the hardest winter temperatures as well as the hottest summer temperatures.

These durable extensions of the tree continue to develop throughout the tree’s lifetime, increasing the stability of the tree and its capacity to receive nutrients as they do so.

Although certain trees may continue to grow in the fall, the spring and summer months are the most productive for root development.

Although a tree planted in the backyard will not cause immediate damage to the septic field system, its roots may eventually reach it.

  • It is amazing how well tree roots can find their way into a sewage system and work their way into the system’s plumbing.
  • Septic tank operation is hampered by the presence of roots.
  • Sinks, toilets, bathtubs, washing machines, and dishwashers, for example, may drain poorly because a root has clogged the pipe leading to the drain.
  • A sewage spill of this nature will result in areas of green growth that are denser in density than the normal development of the grass.
  • It is possible for homeowners to notice an overwhelming foul smell of sewage or even a faint gas smell, which are all caused by leakage from the compromised septic tank.
  • While most sewage is beneficial to plants and trees, the gas and bacteria found in this waste can cause a variety of illnesses.
  • coli, Salmonella, Shigella, and Cholera.
  • Troubleshooting Root Causes by a Professional Anyone who is experiencing tree root troubles in their septic system should get expert assistance as soon as possible.

For additional information on this issue, please contact or come see us at Southern Sanitary Systems Inc. With the assistance of our expertise, your septic tank will be root-free and healthy again in a short period of time with no effort.

Keeping Roots out of the Septic System

Aesthetically pleasing trees around your home can help to lower your energy bills by shading the roof and absorbing CO2. Nevertheless, the trees growing on your land are constantly on the lookout for moisture and nutrients, which their roots frequently discover within your septic system. Because of the thick structure of septic tanks, which makes them more resistant to root penetration, tree roots often gain access to the septic system by exploiting weak places in the sewage pipe that feeds the tank or the discharge pipe that leads to the drainage field.

Once roots identify a weak place in the sewage pipe, which is indicated by seepage, they are tenacious in their efforts to enter the pipe and take over the entire system.

When roots penetrate a sewer system, they most often cause sewage backups into the residence or clogs inside of the septic tank; however, there are other implications as well.

Preventive Strategies

When it comes to tree root issues, prevention is always the best medicine. It all starts with the choosing of the trees that will be planted on your land. Rapidly spreading roots are characteristic of fast-growing tree kinds such as willow, poplar, and birch, and these roots are extremely aggressive in their search for subterranean sources of moisture and nutrients. Local colleges and tree nurseries can recommend slow-growing alternatives that will flourish in your temperature zone and soil type while providing less of a hazard to your subterranean pipes.

If you don’t know where the pipes are, a plumber can identify their location and label it for you.

Create a supportive rooting environment immediately surrounding the tree by feeding and watering it on a regular basis at the location where you intend to plant it.


Another technique to prevent root invasions into septic systems is to do regular inspections and maintenance on the system. Roots are more likely to grow in sewer pipes that are more than a decade old, such as those made of concrete or clay. Seepage or leaks are the most common causes of root growth in sewer pipes. On the other hand, sewage pipes that are in good condition and do not leak moisture may withstand root penetration for an endless period of time. The sooner seepage or leaks from failing pipes are discovered and repaired, the less probable it is that roots will take advantage of this weakness and get access to your septic system and drain field.

A routine visual examination done by a plumber with the use of a fiber optic wire put into the pipe is, in the end, the most effective method of determining the condition of sewer pipes.

Chemical Treatments

Once little “feeder” roots, which are the first indicators of root infiltration, have been discovered during an examination by a plumber or if additional signs of root infiltration have been discovered, such as unexplained slow sewage flow, chemical treatments can be used to prevent further root development. It is possible to prevent little roots from developing into mature roots that can totally clog your septic system using commercially available root treatments that are prepared with copper sulfate and flushed into the septic system.

However, it seems likely that more direct intervention may be necessary in the future.

Mechanical Root Removal

A mechanical root cleaning instrument may be used to control root invasion in pipes in a direct and effective manner. The instrument, which is inserted through sewage access ports and into the pipe by a plumber, has a revolving auger with sharpened blades that tear off root accumulations that have accumulated inside the pipe. It is possible that subsequent root issues will be significantly postponed if regular follow-up treatments with root killing chemicals are continued after a mechanical clearing process has been completed.

Removal of fast-growing trees on the land is sometimes advised in order to reduce the problem of frequent root invasions.

Trees With Roots That Will Infiltrate Your Septic Tank

A septic system is made up of three parts: a main exit, a holding tank, and a drainage area, often known as a leach bed or leach field. The tank takes sewage from the building’s plumbing system, where it accumulates over a period of time until it is full enough to be discharged through an outlet onto the drainage field below. While the tank itself is typically resilient to tree root damage, the roots of some kinds of trees can represent a major danger to the proper functioning of the leach field, particularly in areas where the tank is located.

Tree Blacklist

However, while contractors and arborists generally feel that it is unsafe to plant any tree too close to a septic system, several species have been identified as being particularly undesirable. Among the most hazardous trees to septic tanks and sewer systems are elms (Ulmus sp.), gum trees (Eucalyptus sp.), cypress trees (Cupressus), maple trees, particularly silver maple (Acer saccharinium), birches (Betula sp.), walnut trees (Juglans), poplars (Populus sp.), and willows (Salix sp. Apart from seeking for the nearest and most abundant supply of water, the roots of these trees are also drawn to the vast stores of nutrients present in the soil around a septic system, as well as the oxygen found in the drainage lines.

Planting species such as weeping willows, Monterey pines, and walnut trees at least 100 feet away from the system may prevent them from becoming a problem.

Tree Root Facts

The root system of any tree is responsible for the majority of the tree’s water and nutrient absorption from the soil. Not all tree roots develop in the same manner, and the manner in which they do so is influenced by a variety of variables, including the kind of tree, the environment in which it grows, the quantity of yearly rainfall received, and the availability of water. In order to find the most plentiful supply of water, tree roots naturally seek for the nearest and most abundant source of water.

Septic System Facts

Modern septic systems are likely to have little more than 2 feet of soil cover, which makes trees with extremely deep taproot systems, such as oaks (Quercus sp. ), less of a hazard because their main roots naturally travel in a fairly vertical direction straight down into the soil. One element that leads to the invasion of tree roots into drainage systems is the presence of numerous holes in the pipes used to build leach fields, which allow any form of root to gain access with relative ease. It doesn’t take long for the strain from spreading roots to build up to the point when the pipes shatter and split open, which is usually constructed of PVC plastic.

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Finally, as the obstruction increases, sewage begins to back up into the tank, and eventually the tank itself ceases to drain at all.

Safe Tree List

Generally speaking, the larger the tree, the more complicated its root system will be, and the reverse is true as well. Certain smaller types of trees, such as the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) and the Amur maple (Acer ginnala), may not represent a significant hazard to a septic system. These are two of numerous trees that grow to no more than 25 feet in height, and they include the Japanese maple and the Amur maple. The University of Tennessee Extension also offers flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) as an excellent alternative, as well as smoke tree (Cotinus spp.) and Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), which are both low-growing species with limited root systems, according to the university.

It is normal for the roots of any type of plant to seek out and take advantage of the rich environment provided by the system when certain unanticipated situations exist.

What to Do When Tree Roots Grow into a Septic Tank and Repairing Broken Risers

Our septic pump recently broke and had to be replaced, which was a hassle. It was discovered that roots were growing into the tank and causing harm to the septic system.

Here at Happy Haute Home, we chat about everything.the good, the terrible, and the downright embarrassing. This is one of the less visually appealing postings, but it contains really valuable information for home owners who live in rural areas.

Why Have a Septic Alarm?

Since moving into our home three years ago, we’ve experienced problems with our septic system. The alarm would go off on a regular basis, sometimes even in the middle of the night! The alarm is located on the other side of our house and is difficult to hear, especially during the nighttime. I was also concerned about the alarm going off while we were on vacation — my answer was to turn it off completely. Forever and a day! Okay, so this isn’t the best answer, is it? Leaving the alarm turned off is a major no-no because it is there for a reason.

What is a Septic System?

Living in the city means you won’t have to deal with septic tanks or the problems that come with having one. It’s convenient to be connected to a public sewer system. Until around five years ago. In addition, I never had to think about sewers.but that’s one of the pleasures of rural life. Allow me to explain why this situation “stinks.” In the United States, a septic tank is a large, underground concrete container that is mostly used for personal sewage disposal in suburban and rural residences.

The waste water decomposes as a result of bacterial activity before entering the tank’s opposite end and traveling through a filtering procedure to the next stage.

A septic tank is drawn to the water in it, thus tree roots find their way into the tank through drainpipes or gaps in the concrete, causing a clog and other potentially hazardous issues.

When Tree Roots grow into a Septic Tank

When we first moved into our current house, our septic system presented an instant problem, with the alarm going off on a regular basis. In order to investigate the problems, we had a septic firm come out many times. In front of the tank was a massive and lovely willow tree, which was about 20 feet in diameter. In the tank, the tree’s roots were developing and spreading! We had to cut down the willow tree since the roots had been scraped out of the tank by the business we were working with. However, we did not remove the stump from the ground; rather, we ground it down to the point where it was no longer noticeable.

Our recurring troubles, as well as the alarm going off, made me confident that we would not pass our inspection this year.

During the examination, we discovered that our pump was completely non-functional and that it needed to be replaced.

And because I had turned off the alarm, we were unaware that the pump was not working.my fault. Remember those ephemeral roots I mentioned earlier? Despite the fact that the tree had been chopped down, they appeared to be still alive! And they were still making their way inside the tank.

How to Fix the Problem of Tree Roots Growing into a Septic Tank

What should be done to rectify the situation? Remove the tree roots from the tank, cut the roots out of the tank, and install a new pump. Ditto! It was necessary for my firm to find the stump, use a sharp device to grind lines into it, and then pour a killing solution into the stump in order to destroy the roots. It was a two-day job that was entailed. Whenever they enter the septic tank, the personnel are required to don special protection garments. Once they had removed all of the tree roots, they could begin installing the new pump.

Remove huge trees that are growing within 30 feet of the septic system as a precaution.

The distance between trees and the septic system should be at least 50 feet.

How to Repair Broken Septic Risers

So you’d think we’d be through with septic system repair after all that. NOPE! One of the risers had been broken by one of our lawn mowers, and water was flowing into the tank from that side. Another problem. awful. Let’s take care of it as well while we’re at it! This included installing a new insert to cover the broken riser. After that, a new riser for the side tank was installed. Reduce the size of the object so that it does not protrude excessively. And there you have it. We’re almost finished.

  1. And replaced the top with a new one.
  2. I came acrossrisersandlidsonline.
  3. Fortunately, the alarm has been restored and has not sounded for more than a month now.
  4. I wouldn’t have it any other way, despite the fact that we are constantly in need of repairs and improvements.
  5. What are your thoughts?
  6. Daily updates and occurrences at Happy Haute Home may be found on the Happy Haute Home Instagram storiesHERE.
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Signs You May Have Roots Growing Into Your Septic System

A large number of homeowners like to have trees growing on their land. After all, trees provide shade and enhance the aesthetics of a landscape. The trees that are growing in the parts of your yard where your home’s septic system is buried, on the other hand, require special attention. Everything, including the septic tank, underground pipes, pipelines leading to the drain field, and even the actual drain field, is included under this provision. When it comes to tree root blockage, it is a significant problem that cannot be neglected for long—especially if you observe one or more of the warning signals of a probable plumbing system failure or other catastrophic issues.

The root systems of trees are enormous, typically two to three times longer than the height of the trees.

Roots are attracted to cracked pipes and tiny leaks.

When it comes to septic systems, trees of all sizes may cause havoc, so if you have trees on your property, you should be on the lookout for any possible problems. Roots in your Cleveland, Texas sewage system can be detected in several ways. The following are some examples:

  • Having roots in your pipes is comparable to having a drain clog, with the exception that a toilet paper or food blockage may be dislodged after a thorough plunging or snaking of the drains. It will take a little more effort to get the roots out of the pipes. To assess if a slow-emptying drain is a symptom of a larger problem, check the flow of other drains around your home. If all or most of the drains exhibit the same symptoms, you may be certain that tree root development is the source of the problem. Inadequate flushing: Poor flushing is similar to slow-emptying drains in that it does not remove all of the debris. If you flush a toilet in your home and the water drains slowly or just partially, or if you hear gurgling, it’s possible that roots are clogging the system. Another warning indication is sewage backing up
  • Pipes that are clogged: Clogged and obstructed pipes are frequently caused by blockage of the root system. Once you have determined that the problem is not caused by an excessive amount of flushed waste, you should seek expert assistance. Drainage system damage caused by root systems: Visible sinkholes, no matter how little, can be a symptom of catastrophic subterranean septic or sewage line damage. Any time you notice one on your yard, contact an emergency plumber immediately
  • In the event that tree roots break through septic and sewage systems, you may notice foul aromas both inside and outside the home. Tree roots can also cause flooding. It is possible for drains and toilets to emit a lasting rotten egg odor, which signifies that there is sewage lying somewhere in the pipes and that it is not draining correctly.

Your plumber will prescribe a plan of action once they have determined that there are roots in your sewer system. This may include using hydro-jetting. Hydro-jetting is the process of sending a stream of high-pressure water through your pipes in order to blast through tree roots and other debris that has been lodged. However, various root removal procedures are available that are less environmentally friendly and do not necessitate the use of a professional to dig up your plumbing. To arrange an appointment with All Pro Septic in Cleveland, TX, please call now!

Remove Tree Roots From a Septic Tank

You’ll learn about the methods that a professional will use to remove roots from a septic tank.

About Tree Roots in a Septic Tank System

Infestation of tree roots in septic systems can be a significant concern. Tree roots may enter a septic system through any breach in the pipe. Spider-web-like tendrils spread down into the crevices and put out roots, which have the ability to grow as huge as the septic line itself if left unattended. While a professional should be consulted for the most accurate diagnosis and treatment, it is beneficial to be aware of the many methods that specialists use to eliminate tree roots in a septic tank.

1. Cut Tree Roots Mechanically

The use of a mechanical auger is one of the most often used procedures. In this procedure, a motorised sewer auger is sent down a septic line to clear the blockage. The spinning head is coated with teeth, much like the blade of a reciprocating saw. Because of the rotating movement, the roots are chopped and cleared, but they will quickly regrow and re-establish themselves.

2. Chemical Tree Root Removal

Special chemicals are available that are designed to destroy tree roots in a septic tank system and prevent them from regrowing. Copper sulfate septic therapies are the most often used. This approach is particularly efficient because it produces a poison barrier inside the soil, which kills the tree roots before they have a chance to grow into the pipe and cause blockage. Using foaming compounds in your treatment has the extra benefit of covering the whole pipe, soaking the roots that sprout from both the top and bottom of the pipe.

3. Remove Tree Roots From a Septic Tank With a Hydro Jetter

Using a hydro jetter to clean sewage lines is an effective, although possibly expensive, method of clearing septic lines. This machine operates on the basis of a pump and pressured water. A chemical flushing of the septic line can be performed once the hydro jetter has completed its work to eliminate any remaining roots.

4. Manual Tree Root Removal

If a septic line has been damaged beyond repair, it may not be possible to clean or clear it with chemicals, a hydro jetter, or an auger. The extent of the damage may be determined by inserting a camera into the septic line, which will provide better diagnostics, allowing the professional to determine the best course of action, which may include accessing the septic tank to manually remove the tree roots and repair any damage that has occurred.

How Do Tree Roots Affect Your Septic System?

Trees are extremely hardy, and they can withstand the hardest winter temperatures as well as the hottest summer temperatures. And their origins are no different than everybody else’s. These durable extensions of the tree continue to develop throughout the tree’s lifetime, increasing the stability of the tree and its capacity to receive nutrients as they do so. In reality, researchers believe that tree roots continue to develop throughout the year, regardless of the season, as long as the temperature on the ground remains above freezing.

  • Despite the fact that its spread is not very rapid, it is persistent in a way that many homeowners are unaware of.
  • Overflow water, nutrients, and oxygen may all be found in the region surrounding your septic tank and drain field.
  • The roots can ultimately grow through minor holes in your foundation and cause serious damage to your septic system.
  • One of the most expensive septic care tasks is the removal of tree roots that have grown inside your pipes.

It is amazing how well tree roots can find their way into a sewage system and work their way into the system’s plumbing. In the unfortunate event that the tree roots grow into a tank and extend, they may obstruct the passage of water or possibly cause the pipe or tank to burst completely.

How Tree Roots Can Affect Your Septic System

Tree roots look for water as they develop, reaching out to discover supplies beneath the earth. As a result, they can cause problems for septic systems because they clog them up. Whenever there are any gaps or joints in your pipes or joints, the roots will crawl into the pipes in order to get to the water that is contained inside them. Then, as these roots continue to develop, they have the potential to clog drainage lines, resulting in a major problem. Not to mention that, in addition to blocking the pipes, they have the potential to burst them.

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* Restricted Water Flow

In their persistent search for water, tree roots can find their way into your home’s plumbing system, causing major problems. Infiltration of roots into pipes can occur through even minor flaws in the pipe’s construction, and these roots will develop and clog the pipe over time. Sink and shower drains will be slow to empty as a result, and standard unclogging methods will be ineffective in dealing with the problem.

* Burst Pipes

As the roots spread, they will cause the pipes to rupture and collapse. Septic system repair is required following a burst pipe, and it may even be essential to replace pipes if they have become too damaged to repair. If you see any signs of trouble with your septic system, you should have it examined immediately to minimize more damage.

* Lawn Issues

In the area around the septic tank, known as the leach or drain field, effluent is filtered before it is released back into the soil. If a tree root becomes entangled in a distribution pipe, wastewater will flow straight onto the lawn, resulting in the growth of lush green areas of grass and other vegetation. While every homeowner desires a lush, healthy grass, uneven areas on the lawn are sometimes indicative of a malfunctioning septic system. Tree Roots and Your Septic System: How to Keep Them Out * Be aware of the location of your septic tank and drain field.

  • To ensure future reference, keep precise records of all system maintenance.
  • When landscaping your property, keep in mind that tree roots might spread out in search of water and nutrients, so be sure to account for this when designing your layout.
  • Before you plant a tree, you need learn about the root system’s characteristics.
  • Grass provides the most effective protection for your septic system.
  • Root growth can be controlled by using substances that inhibit root development.
  • Root barriers are solid sheets or panels of hard plastic or other materials that are buried into the ground and operate as a form of barrier against the growth of weeds and other undesirable plants.
  • Occasionally, removing the tree is a better alternative than attempting to destroy its roots.
  • In order to perform this service, the highly skilled expert will make use of a specialized gadget that will inject pressured water into the pipes.
  • For many homeowners, determining whether or not tree roots are to blame for their plumbing problems is a difficult task to do.
  • You may observe toxic fumes escaping from plumbing fittings, or you may notice a foul stench emanating from the area outside your home where the leach field is located.

Schedule an inspection of your system at least once a year. Performing regular septic inspections and maintenance can help to avoid root infiltration by identifying problems early on.


The idea of surrounding your septic system with trees, bushes, and an eye-catching landscaping may be appealing, but it might be a recipe for catastrophe. We recommend that you use only soil and grass as ground cover for your septic system since they are the most effective. Plantings with extensive root systems, such as trees and shrubs, can cause significant challenges for the system’s long-term performance and durability. If you have trees growing in close proximity to your septic system, it is possible that you may have more maintenance visits to maintain your system than you would otherwise receive.

If you believe that your system has reached its maximum capacity, please contact us immediately to discuss your options.

Roots in my Septic System

Tree roots are a major cause of septic system failure, according to the EPA. Let’s take a look at some scenarios in which roots will or will not have an impact on your septic system. The tank and the drain field are the two most important components of a traditional septic system, and both are susceptible to the dangers posed by tree roots: the tank and the drain field.

Septic Tank

Although tree roots can enter your tank through the access lid, they can also get in through the inlet or outlet pipes, or even through the seams of the tank. The access lid is the most vulnerable part of your tank to tree roots. The identification, cutting, and removal of roots may be accomplished during septic tank cleaning provided your system is properly maintained. When these little feeder roots are handled immediately, they are unlikely to become an issue that interferes with the system’s capacity to function.

If the larger roots are not managed, they might have negative consequences.

Septic Drain Field

Because of the perforated pipe, which is meant to allow liquids to seep into the drain field, roots can enter the drain field. However, even when roots reach a drain field, the system can still operate as long as the roots are not entirely choking the pipe. Although roto-rooter service can assist in clearing drain field pipes of roots, the results will only be temporary because the roots will regrow. In other cases, roto-rootering the drain field is not possible because the roots are too thick or because the roto-rooter is unable to reach all the pipes in the drain field.

However, because the entire extent of copper sulfate’s effects on trees and other plants is unclear, this can be a potentially hazardous activity.

If rules have changed since the original system was established, it may be necessary to install a whole new system.

As part of your septic tank cleaning, we will inspect your tank for roots at no additional expense.

We can assist you with any of your wastewater system needs, and our specialists can also assist you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Austin) (Boerne).

How Can I Prevent Septic Root Problems?

Trees are something that we all like. This is especially true when they give us with refreshing shade on a hot summer day in Florida. Trees may also provide shade for your home, which can assist to reduce your energy use and expenditures. The fact that you are reading this text on our website most likely indicates that you have a septic system. Then there’s the possibility of an issue with tree roots. Trees are no different from any other plant with roots in that they seek for water and nutrients in order to flourish.

Septic tanks, with their thick walls and other protective measures, are extremely resistant to root penetration.

The tree targets any weak points in the system, such as the sewage pipe feeding the tank or the discharge pipes leading to the drainfield.

So, what can you do right now, and what may be required of you in the future?

How Can I Prevent Septic Root Problems?

The following is required reading if you have just acquired or constructed a home and are uncertain of what you can do to avoid future difficulties. It is recommended that you exercise caution while selecting which sorts of trees to plant if there are no trees already in place on your property. Typically, trees with rapid growth have roots that are quite aggressive in nature. Not sure which trees would be the greatest choice? You may always speak with a local nursery, and they will be able to provide you with some options that may prove to be really beneficial in the future.

It is necessary for you to be aware of the location of your septic system.

Finally, after you have planted your trees, you may stimulate the growth of the trees’ roots close to the tree by watering and nourishing them.

What Maintenance Should I Do?

In order to eliminate root incursions into your septic system, you should examine and maintain your system on a regular basis. Roots are more likely to invade septic systems that are more than a decade old. This is due to the fact that they are the most prone to suffer seepage or leakage. Depending on how well your septic system is maintained and how often it is checked, you may never have any issues with tree roots at all. Some telltale indicators of leaky pipes in your septic system include brilliant green grass sections in your yard when the rest of your yard is brown, or soft moist places in your yard, as well as the stench of sewage in the air.

In Punta Gorda, for example, we can witness fast-moving roots from trees and bushes that are growing swiftly and aggressively in quest of water throughout the hot, dry months of the summer.

If you have not had a septic inspection lately and would like to make sure your septic system is in good working order give us a call or click here to request service.

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Wastewater flows into the tank.

Using RootX to Eliminate Tree Roots in Septic Tank

It is recommended that you use 8 pounds of RootX in a septic tank per 1,000 gallons of septic tank capacity for the most efficient treatment of roots in septic tank (refer to chart below). If you are applying RootX tree root killer through a cleanout or a toilet, you must consider the length of the pipe that runs from the cleanout or toilet to the septic tank before proceeding. In the following example, if you are administering RootX through a cleanout that is 35 feet distant from your septic tank and your plumbing pipe is 4″ in diameter, then you must add 2 pounds to the total quantity of RootX necessary for the volume of your septic tank (refer to chart below for pipe diameter dose rates).

If you have roots in your leach field system, you should examine our instructions for treating roots in leach field systems before proceeding.


It is possible for your septic system to provide efficient wastewater treatment services for decades at a time, but when it becomes clogged or otherwise compromised, it can become a source of concern. The infiltration of tree roots into septic lines and backups is a typical occurrence; thus, you should educate yourself on how to avoid such occurrences. Listed below are four variables that might influence how vulnerable your system is to a root intrusion. 1. THE DISTANCES BETWEEN THE AGGRESSIVE ROOT SYSTEM One of the most straightforward root damage prevention measures is to simply keep all aggressive root systems as far away from your septic system as possible.

  1. You must be aware of the exact location of all components of your septic system, and if you have a small property, maintaining trees at a safe distance might leave you with little space to plant trees on the entire land, which could be problematic.
  2. Make sure that any trees you plant on your property that are tiny and drought-tolerant are placed in areas where they will not interfere with the septic system’s operation.
  3. Furthermore, trees aren’t the only concern; shrubs may also have enormous, aggressive root systems, so you’ll want to research the characteristics of any bush you want to plant before putting it near your septic system to be sure it’s safe.
  4. The roots will attempt to locate the leak and can then send a tiny point into the system through even the slightest of cracks or openings.
  5. 3.
  6. The deeper your septic system is buried, the greater the distance that tree and bush roots will have to travel in order to do damage to it.
  7. It is possible, though, that you may have to remain with only grass for the entire surrounding region if your topsoil is thin and your system is only a few inches below the surface.
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Root barriers can be installed to protect against root intrusions.

But it needs digging and can be a time-consuming and expensive procedure.

However, it is not a 100-percent assurance.

As a result, there is a two-fold protective system in place.

According to the information provided, there are various measures you can take right now (such as removing trees and building tree root barriers) to avoid tree root damage to your septic tank if you do not currently have a problem with tree root damage.

We’re here to assist you with septic and sewer maintenance and inspections in the Santa Cruz region at any time.

6 Ways to Prevent Septic System Damage From Trees

Anyone who owns a septic system should be aware of the potential damage that tree roots can create. Underground roots have the potential to cause damage to both septic tanks and sewage systems. You must take care to keep your septic system safe from damage caused by trees in and around your yard. Continue reading to learn about six techniques for reducing septic system problems caused by tree roots.

1. Tree Location

It is critical to space your trees in your yard far enough away from your septic tank, pipes, and drain field to avoid clogging them. You may, however, already have trees in high-risk regions that need to be removed. If you already have trees planted too close together, you should have them removed before their roots cause problems. To avoid this, you should be aware of the general rule that a tree should be planted as far away from a septic tank as the tree would eventually grow to be when it reaches full maturity.

2. Tree Type

Others tree species have more aggressive roots than others, and some have less aggressive roots than others. Other factors to consider include if certain trees have roots that grow more deeply than others. Dogwood, cherry, Japanese maple, and white pine trees are examples of trees that have less aggressive and shallow roots than other types of trees. Unless you absolutely must have certain trees in your landscape that are in close proximity to your septic system, these are the trees to consider for safety reasons.

3. Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate is an efficient root killer for drain fields and septic tanks because it inhibits the growth of roots. Besides killing already-established roots, copper sulfate also inhibits the formation of new roots, preventing them from entering septic systems. Each year, you may save money by using copper sulfate by flushing it down your toilets twice a year. Because copper sulfate can cause corrosion on metal pipes if it is flushed down the toilet, it is recommended that you flush copper sulfate down the toilet rather than down the drain.

4. Video Inspections

The use of video inspections to check your pipes and septic tank on a regular basis is an excellent technique to prevent tree root damage. An examination using a video camera is performed when a small camera is linked to a snake that is dispatched down your pipes to look for obstacles. Video inspections can alert you to the presence of a developing tree root problem before the problem gets serious and causes significant harm. The issue of tree roots growing in your pipes may be resolved quickly and easily with a pipe cleaner or a chemical root deterrent, as shown by a video inspection of the problem.

5. Installation of Root Barriers

Root barriers, which are physical barriers that prevent roots from reaching septic equipment, can be erected. Physical root barriers must, of course, be placed in place before roots can reach a drain field; nevertheless, they will not be able to solve a problem caused by tree roots that have already grown into the septic system’s area. In the event that you have recently had trees removed due to septic system issues, you have an excellent chance to build a root barrier to ensure that you do not have to deal with the same problem in the future.

Septic equipment may be protected by installing physical barriers, which are quite easy to build and are extremely effective at doing so.

6. Preparation of the Soil

In order to encourage tree roots to grow away from your septic system rather than towards it, you may treat your soil in a specific way. Tree roots are coaxed away from septic equipment by soil preparation, which is an efficient method of safeguarding septic systems. Loosening the soil and opening up growth regions underneath your trees in the direction of the flow of water away from septic equipment are typical soil preparation procedures. The path of least resistance is more likely to be chosen by roots.

We at The Nibbler Company can provide you with further information on how to keep your septic system in the best possible condition.

Tree Roots And Your Septic System: Why They’re A Problem And What You Should Do – Troubleshooting Septic Systems

Posted on the 6th of February, 2015. If you have a clogged septic line and a tree growing within ten feet of the pipes or tank, it’s likely that the obstruction is caused by the roots of the tree growing into the line. It is one of the most prevalent types of stumbling blocks encountered with these systems. This is an issue that must be addressed, but there is a good way and a bad way to go about it. Listed here is all you need to know about why roots are so dangerous and what you should do in order to solve the problem without causing more damage to your septic line or the environment.

  1. No matter how few trees there are in your yard or near the tank, trees are known for extending their roots a great distance in order to reach a water source that is abundant in the area.
  2. Another telling clue that the problem is with the roots is the presence of little patches of green grass growing along the drain field.
  3. Typically, a sewer contractor will undertake a detailed examination or use a camera to photograph the source of the problem in order to determine its exact location.
  4. Roots have taken up residence in the septic pipe.
  5. A few little roots may appear to be harmless and should be left alone, but this is not the case.
  6. Over time, the roots might totally obstruct the line, resulting in the need to entirely replace the whole system.
  7. While a part of the wastewater is treated before it is discharged from your septic tank, the majority of the treatment takes place in the drainage field.

Because of the large number of roots in the soil, this treatment procedure is slowed down significantly.

What is the best way to get rid of the roots?

If you want assistance, you will need to contact a sewer contractor or a plumber.


You could have the tree taken down, but it would be an extreme solution to the problem.

Alternatively, the roots can be physically removed from the line using a mechanical device.

The advantage of this procedure is that it provides an instant repair.

In fact, they frequently regrow quicker, thicker, and stronger than they were previously.

The use of chemical agents.

For example, a contact herbicide will only destroy the section of the plant that comes into direct touch with the herbicide, not the entire plant.

However, if used improperly, it can deplete beneficial microorganisms in the tank as well as the adjacent leach field.

For long-term prevention, the most effective therapy is a combination of mechanical and chemical treatments performed by a competent specialist.

In addition, any chemicals or herbicides poured down the drain will be unable to reach the roots of any plants that are affected by the clog.

However, while the roots may die fast, it may take many months to a year for the roots to be entirely washed away, which is another reason why mechanical removal is so effective when used in conjunction with ecologically friendly chemical treatments. Share

Septic System Health: Tree Roots

As a homeowner, you are most certainly aware of the visual benefit that trees may provide to your property’s appearance. In addition to their aesthetic value, trees provide a variety of additional beneficial properties. It is possible for trees to serve as a food source or to offer shade for your home, both of which can have a good influence on your power cost if they are planted in the right location. Trees, on the other hand, can cause significant harm to several aspects of your property. You might believe that the only way a tree can cause harm is if it falls and impacts anything on your property.

It is unfortunate that they might do extra quiet harm to your home, which you will not be able to see until it is much too late.

Understand the Risk of Tree Roots

It is possible for trees to do serious harm to a septic system. Tree roots can cause significant damage to pipes and drain lines that lead to the sewer or to a privately constructed septic system over time. It is believed that tree roots are drawn to these regions because the lines provide a source of additional water, nutrients, and oxygen. If trees are placed next to a septic tank, the roots of the trees can even pierce the walls of the tank. Therefore, the roots can penetrate the walls of pipes, preventing them from draining water or waste effectively and efficiently.

A professional septic company must be called to your property to assess the situation and determine where the damage has occurred.

If your septic tank has been invaded, it will need to be repaired or replaced, depending on the extent of the damage.

If you want to avoid any of this costly damage, there are certain things you can do to assist prevent any tree damage to your septic system, which are listed below.

Know Where Your Septic Tank and Drain Lines Are

It is essential that you obtain a copy of the schematic depicting the placement of your septic system on your land when you acquire or build your house. If you do not have access to this information, you may contact your septic professional, who will be able to assist you in locating the problem area in your home. When you know where the tree roots are coming from, you may take extra precautions to avoid them becoming an issue.

Avoid Planting Trees in the Vicinity of Your Septic System

It is best not to grow any trees or bushes in the vicinity of your septic system when you are planning your landscaping. Grass is the most effective technique to cover a large area. It is not only possible that tree roots may cause damage to your septic system, but it is also possible that your plants will be removed and destroyed if you discover that you require extensive repairs. You will therefore be responsible for not only the expense of the septic repair, but also the replacement of your trees and plants.

If you have acquired a piece of land that already has trees and bushes in the vicinity, you should consider having them removed before any significant harm can be done. An expensive and tedious septic repair will be less expensive and less inconvenient than a simple tree removal.

Have Your Septic System Tested Annually

A professional septic tank expert should also inspect your system at least once per year to ensure that it is in proper working order. However carefully you maintain your septic system, regular maintenance is the only way to ensure that a catastrophic tragedy does not strike without warning. In the event that you require septic system services or have any queries, please call Abbotts’ Construction Services Inc.

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