If you have a sewer pump, you need to be aware of a potential problem: the roots from shrubs and trees in your yard will tend to navigate towards it, thanks to the water it supplies them. These roots can damage your sewer pipes. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect the pipes and still keep beautiful shrubs and trees planted on your property.

Create a Barrier

There are several types of barriers available on the market that work well to discourage roots from spreading to sewer lines. Slow release chemicals can be used, such as potassium hydroxide and copper sulfate. These chemicals will break down any roots that reach them. Spread the chemicals along the sewer line on top of the ground, water generously, and they will work their way into the soil. Repeat this every six months.

There are also wood or metal barriers that work well. Bury them six to twelve inches deeper than the pipes that run vertically next to the sewer lines. If you are not sure where to place them, contact a sewer pump repair contractor like Forrest Sewer Pump Service, who can help you locate exactly where the pipes are.

You can purchase these barriers at most garden centers.

Plant Sewer-Safe Shrubs and Trees

The easiest way to keep roots away from your sewer pipes is to plant shrubs and trees that have small root systems. With this type of root system, the roots will not reach the pipes. Some shrubs you could choose include:

  • Hydrangeas
  • Lilacs
  • Viburnums
  • Broad leaf evergreens
  • Conifer
  • Glossy Abelia

Some trees with shallow roots include:

  • Ulmus
  • Salix
  • Populus
  • Acer
  • Ailanthus
  • Gleditsia

If you want to plant larger trees and/or shrubs, plant them far enough away from the sewer pipes that the roots cannot invade them. Check with the nursery if you are unsure how far the roots of a particular plant extend.

Warning Signs of Sewer Problems

If you currently have trees or shrubs with large root systems planted too close to the sewer lines, you should hire a landscaper to move or remove them. Some of the problems you may notice from root damage are frequent clogs, overflowing drains, slow-flowing drains, gurgling noises from your toilet, and more. If you notice any of these problems, contact a plumbing contractor immediately before it leads to much larger problems.

No matter what you do, you can still have problems with your sewer. To avoid these problems, have the lines cleaned on a regular basis, as well as hire a contractor to inspect the pipes. This maintenance will prevent roots from growing inside the sewer pipes.