Spring has sprung! That means your gardens are starting to sprout, your bushes are beginning to flourish, and your trees are blooming. The world looks a little cheerier on the outside, but how is all this plant life affecting your sewer system? The fact is that excess foliage and plant roots can infiltrate your sewer pipes, causing blockages and backups. An experienced plumber with a camera system can detect this problem for you, but wouldn’t it be better to avoid the issue entirely, or as much as possible? Read on for some tips on how to avoid plant growth in your sewer pipes.

Root Barriers

Tree roots like to grow towards sewer lines because of water that collects inside the lateral – the piece of the system that connects your pipes to the city or town sewer line. Tree roots are strong and can work their way into tiny cracks or weak spots in your pipes. One helpful way to prevent root growth in your sewer pipes is to put up a root barrier. Some root barriers are actual chemicals that you spread near your sewer pipes to prevent growth. Others physically block roots from penetrating your pipes. These barriers are made of metal, wood, or plastic and come in the form of deflectors or actual traps with tiny holes that only allow the tips of the roots through.

Strategic Planting

If you are planting new trees or bushes, plant them as far away from your sewer lines as possible–at least ten feet. There are also some species that don’t have as long-reaching roots as others, so try to stick with those if your planting space is limited. Fast growing trees should especially be avoided, as their roots grow longer and deeper. Replace smaller trees every ten years or so before the roots get out of hand.

Optimize Your Soil

Make sure your soil is rich with nutrients so roots won’t have to go searching elsewhere for sustenance. When you plant a new tree, plant it in a deep pit so the roots have ample space to grow without venturing out of their designated area (and towards your pipes). Keep the soil loose to promote healthy drainage opportunities.

Despite precautions and preventive measures to avoid plant growth in your sewer pipes, tree roots are tenacious and may still make their way into your sewer pipes, creating havoc. That’s why it’s important to have an inspection of your sewer system at least once a year. If you do notice signs of a clog or a backup, make sure you call a sewer expert like the ones at A&L Cesspool so you can get the problem taken care of before it becomes worse.