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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    near Mackay
    Age
    55
    Posts
    4,022

    Default Roots in septic drainage

    Hi, I live on a rural property, and have a septic system. Slowly over time the drainage is getting worse, I suspect a large Cadagi tree near the trench to be the culprit. I am in the process of getting the tree removed.
    I have always thought that I would have to dig a new trench, which will be quite costly.
    But, I am wondering if when the tree is gone, will the roots break down and the drainage improve again after a while? And is there something I could pour down into the drainage pipe to assist the breakdown and dispersal of the roots ?
    Thanks for any assistance here.
    ​Brad.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Age
    75
    Posts
    600

    Default

    There are pipe cleaner crystals that will clean the pipe and breakdown the roots but I am not sure how they effect a septic system
    You can buy this product at bunnies instructions on container
    I used this stuff on sewer and stormwater

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Nsw
    Age
    59
    Posts
    499

    Default

    I think you will find that any chemical that is strong enough to sort your roots out will also ruin your septic bacteria system and cause you more grief, if the roots are in the pipe it is best to clean them with a high pressure pipe cleaner that a local plumber would have
    How old is the system? You might be due for a new trench, I redid mine about 6 months ago as it wasn’t draining anymore

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Strathalbyn South Australia
    Posts
    880

    Default

    A plumber would put a snake (wire coil) down the pipe to remove the roots, the issue is though that if it is tree roots in the pipe then there will be seepage from the pipe too. I would think that you would be best to call a local plumber to have a look at it for you, they can put a camera on the end of the snake and tell you for sure what is happening in the pipe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    near Mackay
    Age
    55
    Posts
    4,022

    Default

    I have had the tank pumped out, and I have dug dug down to get at the outlet pipe on the septic tank.
    The problem is further down the pipe, or in the trench, as the pipe is holding water and not draining away in the trench as it should.
    DSC_7418.jpg

    There were some fine roots in the elbow on the outlet, but certainly not enough to block it here.

    DSC_7415.jpg

    Looks like I will be up for a new trench once I can get the tree out of the way.
    ​Brad.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Woodstock (Cowra)
    Age
    70
    Posts
    2,423

    Default

    Depending on the soil profile, septic trenches, correct terminology is transpiration trench, as well as what actually gets into the trench ie: grease water, fats, oils, has a very large impact on how efficient/effective they are. Clays are a pita, going by your photo you have sandy/loamy type soil profile.
    How old is the system?
    Has there ever been any vehicle traffic over the trenches?
    Is there any livestock regularly in the area of the trenches?
    Looks like you have Kikuyu grass, its a nightmare anywhere near septic systems.
    Tanks should be pumped out min every 3 years , worst case every 5 years.
    I also take it that you only have a primary tank and no secondary black water tank
    The person who never made a mistake never made anything

    Cheers
    Ray

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Murray Bridge SA
    Age
    67
    Posts
    3,280

    Default

    Found this article which gives some good advise. How to keep roots away from septic systems | Septic Tank Problems - Septic Tank Problems
    Flushing two pounds of copper sulfate (granualar) down your toilet. This will be poured into every 300 gallons of water that your septic tank can hold. The copper sulfate will dissolve the roots when they absorb the septic tank’s nutritious fluids. Most of the copper sulfate settles at the bottom of the tank. Some of the copper sulfate here will be passed into the drain field to continue the treatment.
    Removing the large trees that are growing within thirty feet of your septic system. With the help of your arborist, trees should be planted 50 or 100 feet away from the septic system.
    Instead of using the Plumbers Snake, which has a rotary cutter fitted to the end, using a hydrajet (high pressure) unit will be more beneficial. Have seen it where the rotary cutter has broken on a tree root, or the tree root has crushed the pipe.
    Kryn
    To grow old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

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