root in sewer line

roots in sewer line


1. Bad sewage odor/smell


Sewer drains are meant to be connected and sealed properly to block sewer gases (Hydrogen Sulfide) from coming out into the open atmosphere. Hydrogen Sulfide has a smell that is similar to the rotten egg odor. Hydrogen Sulfide is bacterial breakdown of organic matter that comes from animal and human waste. If you smell a bad sewage odor in your yard or inside your property this may be a sign of a bad seal and could be caused by root intrusion.

2. Drains are slow and gurgling toilets


If you have gurgling toilets this may be a sign your drain system has obstructions in line that could be caused by root intrusion. Since roots grow from water, oxygen and nutrients ; they creep into the inside walls of the pipe and block the flow of waste. Toilet paper and other solids get caught up and cause the slow draining that eventually develops into a sewage back-up.


3. An increase in insects around the property


Insects such as cockroaches, flies and centipedes naturally flock to nasty smelling areas and find their way into cracked sewer lines. They will eventually lay eggs inside your drain pipes feeding on any available organic matter.

4. Rodent problems


Mice and rats are able to fit in sewer cracks due to their cylindrical body shape. They can compress their bodies to get through small holes and gaps. These rodents live in sewer drains because they provide them with food and shelter.

5. Frequent Sewage back-ups


One of the most common frequent backups in your sewer line is caused by roots. Roots will act as a net inside the walls of pipe causing blockages and may wrap around external pipes eventually crushing the drain pipe.

6. Green spots and puddles in yard


If you have a green patch in your yard this may be caused by a crack in your sewer line. The waste water will act as a fertilizer for the grass and the grass patch will be thicker and greener.

7. Sink holes in yard


A sewer with waste water leakage can cause ground erosion that throughout time causes a sinkhole. The sinkhole eventually develops into an unsanitary ponding condition.

8. Unusually healthy plants or trees


If you notice healthier plants and trees in a certain area of your yard this may be the cause of root intrusion in a cracked sewer pipe. Trees and plants feed off water, oxygen and nutrients to grow.

9. Collapsed pipes


As roots grow in a sewer line they allow wastewater to escape creating a belly caused by ground erosion that results in a collapsed pipe.



If you are having any of these issues and would like to get a professional assessment of your drain lines call Cooper Plumbing our Team of licensed plumbing service specialists.