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How to Landscape Your Property to Protect the Sewer Line

One of the biggest dangers to the sewer line that runs under your property—that vital pipeline responsible for taking the wastewater from your home and into the municipal sewer system—is trees and shrubs. An elm with spreading branches may look lovely on the front yard, but its deep-burrowing roots can end up as a disaster for the sewer line. Plant roots tends to move toward areas of warmth, moisture, and high nutrients, which often leads fast-growing roots right into the sewer pipeline. Root infiltration can lead to a blocked or cracked line and serious problems for a home.

You should contact professional plumbers who handle sewer repair and replacement services if you have trouble with roots growing into the sewer system. However, we have some prevention tips on how to plan your property landscaping so that it poses little threat to this important part of your plumbing.

Locate the sewer line

First, you must know the location of the sewer pipe under your property. Look for a capped pipe at the side of your house. This is the sewer cleanout, and it marks where the line leaves your home plumbing. It should run straight to the curb from that point, and curb markings will show you where this is. You can also call local municipal authorities (those “call before you dig!” people) to learn the line location.

Don’t plant close to the line

Now that you know where the sewer line is, you can plan to place trees and plants a safe distance away. This distance depends on the type of plant. In general, keep a 10-foot radius clear of everything but grass and flowers. Shrubs and other plants with shallow roots can be planted beyond this. Trees shouldn’t be closer than 20 to 30 feet—and trees with strong, deep roots should be planted even further away.

Plant pipeline-friendly trees

To maintain an extra level of safety, plant trees that have shallow or slow-growing roots that won’t expand far from their trunks. Some options include Japanese maple, crabapple, and Eastern redbud. Check with a local nursery for more advice about trees that will keep the pipes below your property safe.

Modern Plumbing Industries, Inc. isn’t a gardening service—but we know your plumbing! If you need sewer line repair or replacement work in Winter Springs, FL, just give us a call.

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