Preventing Tree Root Damage To A Septic System

Posted on: 11 July 2018

Tree root intrusion is one of the things that can accelerate your septic system's demise. This happens when the tree roots get into the septic pipes or tank via cracks or loose joints, then grow and block or damage the pipes. It doesn't have to be that way, however, because you can avoid tree root damage by taking the following precautions:

Don't Plant Trees Near the Drain Field

The first tip is to avoid planting trees in or near the septic field in the first place. Of course, this means that you should first know where the septic drain field or tank is located. Here are a few tips to help you locate the tank:

  • Get records from the previous owner of the property or the local septic service companies.
  • Locate the main-drain exit point in your house, and follow it for ten feet or so.
  • Look out for visual clues, such as too-green grass over a mound, a bald spot with a regular shape, or a subsidence with a regular shape.

If there are already trees growing near the septic tank, have them removed before they cause damage.

Inspect the System Regularly

Some tree roots grow farther than most people think. Therefore, if there are trees growing at what you think are safe distances from your septic tank, you need to inspect the septic tank regularly for signs of root intrusion. That way, you will be able to nip root intrusion in the bud before it causes serious damage.

Install Root Barriers

Root barriers are mechanical devices used to prevent roots from crossing into specific locations. Root barriers work like a fence; the only difference is that they are installed underground and are meant to prevent roots, rather than people or animals, from crossing a predetermined point. Some root barriers are laced with herbicides that kill any root tips that reach them for maximum effectiveness. Get a professional to install the root barriers for you if you want to protect your septic system but also don't want to kill the trees.

Use Chemical Treatments

Lastly, there are also chemicals you can use to kill tree roots so that they don't pose a threat to your septic system at all. The only problem with chemical treatments is that you have to repeat them after some time, and they may also leach into the field and affect the environment.

To learn more about septic tank systems and maintenance, talk to a professional near you today.