Monday, March 22, 2010

Sewer Pipe Root Removal 101 - Treatments for Tree Root Removal in Sewer Pipes & Septic Systems

Sewer pipes are designed carry the wastewater and sewage away from homes and businesses for final treatment.    However, blockages that occur in pipes can cause backups into homes and businesses or create overflows of raw sewage on residential property, businesses or streets.  These backups or overflows can pose significant risk to the property and health of citizens.

Tree root intrusion in sewer pipes may be the single most destructive element facing a homeowners’ sewer or wastewater collection system.  Each homeowner or commercial establishment is generally responsible for the maintenance of their sewer lines or sewer laterals from the house to the street. 

Tree roots grow in sewer pipes because they like it there.  Sewer pipes contain three essential elements for tree root growth: water, organic nutrients and oxygen. The trees root system is able detect and find these essential elements and creep toward your sewer pipes, septic tank, or septic system leach field.  

Starting a tree root treatment program for controlling tree roots in your pipes is the most effective, cost saving solution to protecting your property and eliminating tree roots in your sewer pipes or septic system.  You also need to know that there are more environmentally safe remedies and solutions that are also non-systemic (will not harm the tree) and safe for all types of plumbing, pipes, and septic systems.

REX-BAC-T® Technologies specializes in environmentally safe products and engineered solutions for treating and maintaining residential, commercial, municipal sewer lines, septic systems, grease traps, wastewater treatment and sanitation processes.  Not all tree root control products are engineered alike.  RootX® Foaming Tree Root Killer formula is the safest and most effective product solution for sewer pipeline root control.  RootX® kills the tree roots on contact and the dead roots system in the pipe decays over time and is flushed out the pipe with normal waste water flow. RootX® foaming root killer is 100% guaranteed to kill the roots invading your pipelines.

Invasive Tree Roots Can Be Very Costly

Did you know that nearly 100% of tree root problems in pipes start at the top of the pipe?  As tree roots look for sources of water the trees root system generally grows deeper in the ground.  Tree roots tend to follow the path of least resistance and detect the source of water vapor in sewer pipes and penetrate through the top of the pipe, usually through a crack or loose joint.  Once the tree roots find access they will grow into and through the opening in the pipe eventually completely filling the sewer pipe with fine hair like roots.

Roots from above ground vegetation can be extremely harmful to your home’s sewer pipes or septic system.  The roots can actually trap material that travels down your pipes restricting or blocking flow or, in some cases, cause structural damage to the pipes.  If not treated, the roots can eventually destroy your sewer or septic system. By applying Foaming RootX Root Killer through a toilet or cleanout that leads to where the roots are growing,  the root killing herbicide and foaming agents are designed cover the entire pipe (from top to bottom) to quickly and effectively treat and kill the tree roots in the entire pipe on contact without disturbing the life of the tree.  An effective root control program will keep your sewer pipes and septic leach field pipes root free, restoring pipe flow and saving potentially thousands of dollars in repair or replacement services. Annual treatments are recommended.  

How did the roots get inside your sewer pipes to begin with?

Simply put household sewer pipes used to be constructed out of clay, concrete and fiber pipe which were not water tight like materials such as PVC, prevalent in today’s new home construction.  The older materials had deficiencies in pipe seams allowing thirsty tree roots to invade the hairline crack – quite similar to weeds that find a way to grow throughout breaks in a concrete driveway but tree roots are much more invasive.

Tiny hair like roots cultivate into stronger, more penetrating forces that, if left untreated, can eventually break pipe joints apart completely.  Those fractures and crevasses pose a more threatening problem of raw sewage leaking into the ground and leave an open gateway for roots to enter.  If this happens, you surely will have bigger sewage issues to deal with – like toilets backing up all over your bathroom floors.

Mechanical Methods for Tree Root Removal

Mechanical root cutting equipment can be used to cut the tree roots that have penetrated sewer pipes.  The roots are then partially pulled out of the drain line.  Root cutting is a viable method for clearing tree roots in pipes and in some situations a necessity for removing large clusters of roots that completely block the drain.  However, the cut roots that remain in the drain pipe will grow back if they are left untreated (just like pruning a tree).  Ultimately, the roots may grow back thicker and may need to be mechanically cut more frequently.

RootX Foaming Root Killer can be used with or without mechanical root-cutting equipment.  The treatment process involves a foam released application that expands along the interior walls of pipes, crevasses, and joints killing roots immediately on contact.  Surfactants strip away grease and grime, guaranteeing root penetration and restoring flow quickly. 

Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Pipes - In a Nutshell:

-RootX® is a cost effective solution for root intrusion - kills pipeline roots and restores pipe flow quickly, safely and provides the property owner with peace of mind.
-RootX® enhances bacterial growth to decompose dead roots that are then carried away by the flow of the line. 
-RootX® sticks to the pipe walls, preventing re-growth for up to three years. Dead roots decay over time, restoring pipes to their full capacity.
-RootX® kills roots using the aquatic herbicide Dichlobenil. It’s non-caustic, non-fumigating and non-systemic (will not kill the tree), and it contains no diquat dibromide, copper sulfate or metam sodium.
-RootX® will not harm pipes, septic systems or above-ground vegetation.
-RootX® reaches the top of the pipe where most of the tree roots growth occurs.

Root intrusion in pipes and septic systems can destroy the pipes and can cost thousands of dollars to repair or replace.  We recommend annual treatments of RootX Foaming Root Killer to keep your plumbing system root free and avoid costly sewer, septic tank, and septic system leach field repairs.

Protect your Pipes and your Pocketbook

Those of you who’ve had to replace a sewer pipe because of tree root intrusion are a testament to the high price tag associated with the cure.  A simple maintenance program can ensure your sewer pipes remain root free continue to carry the wastewater from your property trouble free.  Removing the roots by means of a mechanical process may be an initial fix but also start of a costly and continuous process of a routine mechanical cutting program as roots come back thicker and need to be trimmed more often. 

We have suggested an initial root control treatment application using RootX®.  The application rate is 2 pounds for 50 feet of 4” diameter pipe.  For a complete application guideline visit review or RootX Application Table.  Re-Apply RootX®  on an annual basis to keep your sewer pipes free from root growth. Going this ‘root’ will keep money in your pocketbook long term.

What Does a RootX® Root Treatment Program Do For You?

Now that you understand the RootX® product, you’re probably wondering how it will affect you and your family or business.  Besides being non-caustic and non-fumigating, it has no adverse effects on household pipes. To make it easy, we’ve broken down the benefits to you and your loved ones at a glance:

RootX® In Sewer Pipes

  • More Environmentally Friendly alternative to copper sulfate or other harsh chemicals
  • Does not harm above-ground vegetation
  • Prevents drain line blockage
  • Easy to use
  • Eliminates tree root removal emergencies
  • Eliminates pipe replacements or expensive repairs
  • Safe for all plumbing

RootX® In Septic Systems:

  • Improves drain field percolation
  • Extends the life of your drain lines and field
  • Enhances septic bacteria growth
  • Protects septic system from a tree root cap
  • Cost Effective
EPA approved (PA registration #68464-1: RootX© is registered for use in all 50 states as well as Canada, and it’s classified as a General Use product by the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition, RootX© carries the signal word CAUTION, the lowest chemical hazard rating according to the ISO 3864-2 standard for hazard severity panels.)

Go GREEN and just say NO to Copper Sulfate

Typical septic fixes on the market may encourage the use of chemicals that are harmful to the environment.  We highly discourage you from using any products that may contain diquat dibromide, copper sulfate or metam sodium.  These products may cause toxicity to humans including carcinogenicity, reproductive and development toxicity, neurotoxicity, acute toxicity, or toxicity to aquatic organisms.

Copper sulfate was a common treatment for sewer pipes and septic tanks many years ago and, unfortunately, is still on the market today. Be aware that there are adverse environmental effects with Copper Sulfate.  Copper can build-up be a problem as copper sulfate can corrode chrome, iron and brass.  Research and field usage have shown a high potential for detrimental environmental effects.  Copper sulfate is toxic some environmental organisms and because the effects are short-term, overuse is a common problem which is why we do not recommend or use products with this chemical composition. 

In addition, copper sulfate products typically to not incorporate any foaming agents that are able to destroy the tree roots that enter from the top of the pipe.  Remember that nearly all tree roots penetrate from the top of the pipe.  Copper sulfate will only be effective at the bottom of the pipe so most roots will survive a typical copper sulfate treatment.  In short, just say NO to copper sulfate when it comes to a sewer line root or septic system root treatment program.

Best Practices for “Sewer-Safe” Landscaping to Minimize Pipeline Root Intrusion

If you do have the need to landscape your yard or business homeowners or businesses landscape professionals should be mindful of the location of sewer laterals or sewer lines and clean out pipes when planning landscapes.  The general recommendation is to choose small, slow-growing species, varieties with less aggressive root systems and to replace them before they get too large for their planting area. 

In an effort to reduce the amount of root intrusion into sanitary sewer lines, we recommend landscaping with trees and shrubs that are more “sewer safe.” If you must plant trees or shrubs plant them at least 10 feet away from your sewer pipe lines and choose slower growing trees and shrubs in order to minimize the possibility of roots invading your sewer pipes.  There are tree and shrub species with aggressive root systems and these should be avoided if at all possible.   Remember there is no such thing as a “sewer safe” tree but by using smaller, slower growing trees your sewer lines should be safer from aggressive invasion of tree roots.

Our Guarantee

It’s important to use a company and product that stands behind their claims and services.  All pipelines treated with RootX® are guaranteed to be free of blockages and backups caused by live tree roots. If a blockage occurs in a residential service lateral or municipal mainline treated with RootX® due to live tree roots during the 1 year guarantee period, we will replace the amount of product used to treat the service lateral or mainline at no cost. This guarantee applies only to pipeline blockages caused by live tree roots. It does not apply to blockages caused by grease or other foreign matter; flat, collapsed, or deformed pipe; or flooding caused by a surcharge or plugged pipe downstream from the treated section.

Guarantee Period.
Any residential service lateral treated with RootX® will not plug or back up due to live tree root obstructions for a period of 12 months.   We are not responsible for damages caused by sewer stoppages, backups, or damage caused from tree roots.