While native Australian trees have evolved over the generations to use water as efficiently as possible, they still need plenty of it to survive. So, if you have some mature examples in your back garden, you should know that their root network belowground is on a constant search for new sources of moisture. This may be bad news for your underground pipes, which connect your domestic installation to the public sewer. Sooner or later, these roots will discover the pipe, and when they sense that there is liquid inside, they will plan a break-in. Apart from getting rid of the tree itself, how can you avoid and, importantly, treat this issue?
Your first sign of a problem may be a water backup in your kitchen. Alternatively, your bath may be slow to empty, and you may not find any obvious problem within the structure itself.
In this case, tree roots may have broken through the pipe surface and grown to such an extent that they are inhibiting the movement of liquid. Much of this liquid may now be escaping into the soil nearby, and you may notice some tell-tale signs of this in your garden.
Of course, you will want to avoid wholesale excavation in your yard if at all possible. This may not be necessary so long as you call in a plumber who has the latest and most sophisticated tools.
When the plumber arrives, the first job will be to feed a tiny camera attached to a very long cable into your kitchen plughole. This camera will move along the pipe until it gets to the problem area and will then feed images back to the expert on the surface. Given this information, the plumber will then be able to develop a plan of attack and feed another tool into the pipe connected to remote control mechanisms on top.
For example, they may use a motorised drainer auger with a very sharp tool that rotates at high speed. This can act as a saw to cut through stubborn tree roots and can also chop them down to a small enough size to flush through into the public sewer. Sometimes, they may use a high-powered hydro-jet that is even more powerful than a typical pressure washer. This can blast the blockage out of the way as well.
Cleanup and Prevention
Once that work has been done, the plumber may need to take some remedial action to close off any broken parts of the pipe and introduce copper sulphate or a special chemical. With this in place, any new roots will be killed off as they try to enter the pipe so that you won't run into the problem again.
Bring in an experienced plumber together with their full toolkit, and you should win the battle.
For more information on a blocked drain, contact a professional near you.