Keeping Tree Roots Away From Your Septic System

Posted on: 4 April 2018


If there is one thing that can cause thorough damage to your drainage system, it is the intrusion of tree roots into your drainage pipes or septic system. That is why you need to do everything possible to keep tree roots away from your drainage system. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

Plant the Right Trees

You should think about tree root invasion when planting trees or designing the septic system. For example, you should know which trees are relatively safe and which ones must never be planted around a septic drain field. Here are some of the characteristics of trees that should not be around a drain field:

  • Trees with deep roots
  • Trees with routes that spread and cover wide areas
  • Trees that are attracted to large deposits of nutrients and water in the soil

Plant Trees Away From the Drain Filed

Even the right trees, such as those with shallow roots, should never be planted too close to the septic drain field. Leave some distance between the trees and the drain field so that the roots cannot damage the system even after the trees mature. Picture the tree at its maturity, how large it's likely to be and how deep its roots are likely to be. If the trees preceded the septic drain field, then you may have to remove some of the trees if there is no alternative location for the drain field.

Get Rid of Tree Stumps

A tree's roots do not stop growing and causing damage just because the tree has been cut down. As long as the stump remains on the ground, the roots will continue growing as the tree attempts to re-grow. Therefore, get rid of stumps around the drain field because they are just as bad as trees.

Use Root Barriers

Root barriers are mechanical systems for preventing tree root intrusion. They work more or less like fences by providing a barrier through which tree roots cannot penetrate. Note that careless use of root barriers can damage trees by limiting their access to water and nutrition. Therefore, be careful before resorting to this method; in fact, you should enlist the help of a professional arborist.

Use Chemical Deterrent

Some chemicals inhibit the development of tree roots; you can use them in your septic system to prevent the roots from damaging your installation. Good examples of such chemicals include metam-sodium and dichlobenil, these chemicals work by killing roots that are already in contact with the septic pipes.

Contact a septic installation company for more help.