How To: Prevent roots in your sewer line

Prevent roots in your sewer line

Tim Carter shows a clever method that prevents tree roots from entering an underground sewer or septic line. Check for underground utilities before attempting this project.

In the spring, trees start to bloom and grow leaves. But they also have aggressive root growth. These roots can cause problems if they work their way into your sewer line. Try this method to stop the roots from getting in the sewer line.

Use a hand operated auger to dig a 2-1/2 inch diameter hole into the ground. Then using 1-1/2 inch diameter PVC pipe with a pipe cap to drive into the ground. This pipe will be used to insert the root killing copper sulfate crystals into the ground.

Stop the drill about two feet above the sewer line. Extensions for the auger may be required to reach the desired depth. This will allow the crystals to poison the soil above and around the sewer pipe. Once the auger hole is done, drop the PVC pipe down in the hole and place the cap on it. The cap should be flush with the surrounding ground.

Pour the copper sulfate crystals down the tube and pour in some hot water. The water will help dissolve the crystals and spread them into the soil.

Some cautions before starting this job! Contact the local sewer district to help locate you sewer line. Or get a plumber who has equipment to locate sewer lines. Before you drill, be sure to locate all underground utilities, including power, telephone, cable, water lines and natural gas pipes. You don't want to hit any of these utilities. They are costly to repair if you hit one.

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