How Tree Roots Wreak Havoc in Your Sewer and Septic Systems


You probably don’t think about your sewer pipes when they’re functioning properly, but they’re the first things on your mind when there’s a blockage or backup. Regardless of how old the trees on your property are, their roots can expand and grow significantly over several years or a few decades. Eventually, they can invade existing sewer lines and cause you headaches. Learning why these common sewer and septic problems occur and how to spot them will help you quickly act before they develop into bigger issues.

Root Systems Seek Out Moisture

Tree root systems need a consistent supply of moisture, so it’s no surprise that they gravitate towards sewer lines and septic tanks. Seeking whatever plentiful water source they can find, they can push inside through pipe joints and even smaller cracks. As a root system spreads out and downward into the soil, disrupting sewer line and septic function by either blocking the flow of wastewater or destroying pipes by causing them to crack, break open or collapse.

Symptoms of Tree Roots in Your Sewer Lines

 Spotting evidence of tree roots in your sewer pipe is easy once you know the signs of a problem. Look for these telltale symptoms inside your home or around your property:

  • Slowly flowing drains
  • Flushed toilets that emit gurgling sounds
  • Drain and toilet blockages
  • Foul odors that resemble rotten eggs
  • Mold growth on walls or ceilings
  • Indentations or sinkholes in your yard
  • Septic waste pools on the ground
  • Sudden unexplained grass or tree growth
  • Pest infestations

Turn to a Professional Contractor for Help

While there are many potential causes for sewer pipe and septic problems, none are quite so damaging as tree root intrusions. However, these can easily be rectified if you know what signs to look for. Never attempt to fix these issues on your own. Instead, seek out a reputable contractor for high-quality expert diagnosis and solutions.