Your home’s drains are connected to the main sewer line that extends across your front yard.  One risks your sewer faces is blockages caused by tree roots growing into cracks in the line. A failed sewer can end up in toilets that won’t flush, drains that are clogged, or even waste backing up into your home. This can cause a health hazard and an unpleasant cleanup for you and everyone involved.

No matter how much you enjoy your yard’s beautiful landscaping, if it adversely affects your home’s plumbing and sewer systems, you will want to change it around. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead, and make sure you plant sewer safe landscaping. Doing so will minimize your risk of needing sewer line repair or emergency plumbing in the future.

Follow these tips to avoid a future headache:

Know where your sewer line is located

You can find this information by checking with your local public works office. You will also know where your sewer line is if you can see the sewer cleanout is located in your front yard. Make sure you plant your trees at least 10 feet away (at minimum) from your sewer line to avoid root intrusion. Even if you plant a tree far away, roots in the top 18-24 inches of soil generally have a large horizontal spread.

Install root barriers

Municipalities install these to prevent roots from growing into sidewalks, but they don’t always install them around sewer lines. Generally, your home’s sewer line is your responsibility, so take it upon yourself to have root barriers or geotextiles installed, but contact your local public works department for more information.

Choose the right trees

While you can’t guarantee that a tree will not invade your sewer lines, you can choose trees that are less likely to do so. Choosing slow-growing trees with shallow root systems is your best options. Consider flowering dogwoods, crape myrtles, prairie crab apples, or goldenrain trees, but avoid species with aggressive root systems or drought tolerant species like ash, poplars, locusts, oaks, and willows.

Plant trees in large pits with soil that drains well

Doing this will create a favorable rooting environment around the tree that discourages exploratory root spreading.

Consider removing trees that are fast growing

If you already have fast-growing species in your yard that are near 8-10 years of age, it may be time to remove them in order to avoid a sewer line repair.

Avoid Sewer Line Repairs in Columbia and the Surrounding Areas with the Right Landscaping

If you fear your sewer line may already be affected by your landscaping, we can help! Heil Plumbing offers sewer camera inspections in Howard County and beyond that can determine what and where your drain problem is. We’ll send a specialized camera into your sewer line so that there is no guesswork involved, resulting in a quick and cost effective resolution.

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While we are based in Jessup, Maryland, our plumbing contractors also service Catonsville, Columbia, Ellicott City, Odenton, Clarksville, Elkridge, Fulton, Laurel, and Severn.