Planting trees around your home is great for providing shade, enhancing the aesthetics of your property and improving air quality. However, if you rely on a septic system, the you need to be careful of where you plant your trees. If you have a large tree or multiple large trees around your septic tank, it is only a matter of time before the roots find it.
The area surrounding your septic tank and drain field have overflow water, nutrients and oxygen. These are all the essentials that tree roots will seek out to thrive. The roots can eventually grow through small cracks and wreak havoc on your septic system. Once inside your system, tree roots can block or even break drainage and distribution pipes and can quickly grow large enough to restrict water flow. Tree roots growing inside your pipes are one of the most expensive septic maintenance items.
If you already have roots in your septic system, it is time to call and have them removed. If you want to prevent roots from becoming a problem, there are a few ways to keep them away from your septic tank.
- Know where your septic tank and drain field are located. You should have a diagram of your system and the exact location on your property. Keep accurate records of system maintenance for future reference.
- Avoid planting trees close to your system. Remember that tree roots can grow away from the actual tree in search of water and nutrients, so plan accordingly when landscaping your property. It is a good idea to keep trees with spreading roots at least 30 feet away from your system and pipes.
- Before you plant a tree, find out about the nature of its root system. Slow-growing trees tend to have less destructive roots than those that grow quickly. Grass is the best cover for your septic system. Keep in mind that any plant life above your septic tank cover will be damaged or destroyed when you need access to the tank.
- Control root growth with chemicals that deter root growth. Commercially available root treatments formulated with copper sulfate and flushed into the septic system can prevent small roots from growing into mature roots that may completely obstruct your septic system.
- Root barriers are solid sheets or panels of hard plastic or other materials that are buried into the ground and act as a wall of sorts. It is important to note that these types of barriers may stop the tree’s roots from freely growing and could affect the health of the tree. Sometimes removing the tree is a better option than attacking its roots.
- Hydro-jetting: If you suspect that tree roots are to blame for your clogged system, then it is probably time to consider hydro-jetting services. During this service, the highly trained technician will use a special device that emits pressurized water into the pipes. Hydro-jetting can effectively clear away tree roots and other causes of slow draining pipes, including grease buildup.
- Have your system inspected at least once a year. Regular septic inspections and maintenance can prevent root intrusion by discovering the issue early.
At West Coast Sanitation, we know that you do not have time to deal with septic problems. If you think that your system is being affected by invading tree roots, please give us a call at (951) 780-5922 right away. We have professionals ready to answer your questions and get your system working properly again.