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Why trees choose sewer over stormwater pipes.

Trees are more likely to grow into sewer pipes than stormwater pipes.
Every day we use our plumbing sending that water and fertiliser combination along the pipeline for the trees and their root systems to drink their fill.
BUT, stormwater pipes only carry water when it rains, which in this country is fairly unreliable.
If I was a tree and had a choice of putting my roots into a sewer pipe or a stormwater pipe, I would choose the sewer pipes because every day, as regular as clockwork, I will be fed and watered.
If I chose the stormwater pipes, I may die of thirst!

Tree roots grow through pipe joints.

Tree roots usually enter your pipe line through the pipe joints.

Did you know each clay sewer pipe is usually 2-3 foot long, that’s 600-900mm each?
So, in a pipe line 100 feet in length (30 metres), there could be up to 50 individual pipes with bends and junctions.

That means there are at least 50 different places for a tree to get its roots into your sewer.

That’s a lot of opportunity for tree roots searching for moisture in our hot Australian climate with unpredictable rain fall.

If you’re considering pipe relining, root cutting or a pipe renewal as options for keeping the roots at bay remember, the tree roots can just move down to the next pipe joint that hasn’t been protected.

When will you do my Vaporooter?

I just had a phone call from Deborah wanting to know when we are doing her 2017 Vaporooter treatment.

Deb said “You usually come at the end of October”

You’ve been coming every year since 2010.

“Oh, my pipes aren’t blocked but, I don’t want to go back to those days with horrible sewage overflowing and my toilet won’t flush” she said.

Deb has a large fig tree growing on the nature strip at the front of her home.

Don’t worry.
We’ve got you covered Deborah

Apologies for the wind noise at the start of this 2.01 min clip.

Tree roots chase liquid gold in drains

Did you know tree roots chase the liquid fertiliser in sewer drains?
That’s because the waste water running through your pipes is a constant source of moisture and nutrients.
In our dry continent a sewer pipe is an easy target for a tree root system that plays the long game.

Most of us use our plumbing every day.
When we brush our teeth, wash the dishes and of course shower and flush our toilets, we send the waste water off to the sewerage treatment works.
We are also sending liquid fertiliser along the pipes for our trees to feast upon.

That waste water usually runs along the bottom 1/3 of the pipe.
More on that later….

I don’t want to live like this.

You could hear the fear in her voice!
“Sonia” from Bronte asked, What does your Vaporooter Guarantee actually mean?

Sonia lives on the first floor of a 8 storey block of home units.
“About every 3 months we get a blocked drain caused by tree roots in the pipes under our building”

“Depending on the type of tree, that’s not unusual” I said.

“You don’t understand” she said as her throat began to tighten
“When we get a blockage, all the sewer and waste water flushed by the residents on the 7 floors above, hits the blockage in the carpark and backs up through the floor drain in my bathroom”
overflowing toilet Yuk!
“Ouch, Do you mean everything?’
“Yes, everything”
“Poo, condoms, tampons, cotton wool buds, toilet paper. It’s absolutely disgusting”
“It makes me want to throw up just thinking about it, running from the floor drain in my bathroom, out the door and all over the hallway and lounge room carpet.”

“But, Why are you so upset now?” I asked.

“It’s been 4 months since it happened, so it’s gonna happen again soon. I don’t want to live like this!”

I actually had this conversation on April 8th 2016.

The Body corporate committee are getting other opinions on Tree root treatments for drains.

I feel for “Sonia”

Tree root Poonami closes Coogee beach

Sydney Australia has many world famous beaches.

Yesterday morning, April 14th 2016, one of her crown jewels, Coogee Beach, had to be closed after a Sydney Water sewer main in nearby Dudley Street had a blockage that overflowed into the Randwick City council stormwater drains.

Daily Telegraph 2016 04 14

Daily Telegraph 2016 04 14


The blockage was caused by tree roots growing in the Sydney Water sewer main.

The overflowing sewer spilled into a stormwater pipe that discharged into the ocean, right under Coogee Surf club.
Randwick City council closed the beach and drained the Ross Jones pool next to the Coogee Surf club in the afternoon on a day when holidaying school kids and tourists alike were enjoying our beautiful autumn weather and pleasant 21 deg water temperature.
2014 04 14 Whats that smell
The Sydney Morning Herald reports the beach has been re-opened today after time and tide have cleaned up the beach overnight.
Sydney Water technical crews were testing the water quality this morning.

The disappointing part is that this tree root blockage in the sewer pipe was totally preventable.

Cities across Australia are currently using Vaporooter to protect their sewer assets, drastically reducing maintenance costs and preventing sewer overflows like the Poonami that closed Coogee beach.

Vaporooter Helps Strata Prevent $40,000 Sewer Replacement

Tree Root Photo-1
Location: Clovelly, Sydney
Occupants: Mostly women over 40. 2 with teenage children.
Home: Block of four 2 bedroom flats 2 up, 2 down circa 1920
Trees in Vicinity: Tree lined Street, many Hills Weeping Fig (Ficus Microcarpa Var.) large
In total we have billed this client $9,772.00 for tree root cutting and repairs.
In March 2010, they have finally indicated their interest in applying Vaporooter to control their tree roots in and around their sewer pipes.
The quote to apply Vaporooter is $1,586.00. This comes with a 12-month Guarantee.
The estimated cost to renew this sewer around both sides of the building and out to the sewer main in the street is estimated to be an astonishing $40,000.00.
The roots from the trees in this street are widespread.
We have attended to blocked drains in houses and unit blocks up and down the street.
The roots are getting stronger.
Without Vaporooter, a full sewer replacement will be the only (costly) alternative.
Some of the residents have indicated that instead of applying Vaporooter, they will lobby the Council to cut down the trees.
That would change the entire streetscape and severely diminish their property value above the $40,000 sewer replacement and well beyond the preventative Vaporooter solution that is guaranteed to solve the problem.
This beautiful period block of flats, a 5 minutes walk from the beach is on a street lined with Hills weeping fig trees.
You know the kind, they produce the most beautiful summer shade with birds attracted to the fruit.
The branch canopy stretches right across the street.
But, so does the root system of these magnificent specimens.
We were first called to this property to attend a blocked drain in May 2005.
The problem was tree roots from the specimens on the public footpath at the front of the property.

The ground floor flats were the worst affected.

Not only did their toilets back up when they flushed them, but when the flats upstairs flushed their toilet, that also came up and sometimes overflowed in the ground floor toilets.

That’s called The U-Tube (poo-tube) effect!

We recommended to the owner occupiers that Vaporooter would control the tree roots in their sewer.
They declined to take up the offer.
In the 5 years since, we have attended to this sewer blocked by tree roots 7 times.
We have carried out excavations to repair sections of drainage damaged by this aggressive tree root system.

This unfortunately includes costly and inconvenient weekend and after hours callouts.

Questions about Vaporooter?

No matter where you are in Australia, if you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots and you want to discuss your particular blocked drain situation, please ring and ask me on 1800 637 600

Every situation with tree roots in sewer pipes is different!

If you know that tree roots are causing your blocked sewer pipes but you’re not sure Vaporooter will work in your situation, I want you to ring and ask me personally.

As a regular reader of this blog you already know there are several ways to Stop Tree Roots in Drains

Root cutting: Makes the roots grow back Thicker and Stronger!

Pipe excavation: Damages gardens, lawns and footpaths. It is messy and can be very expensive!

Pipe relining: Its expensive!

Vaporooter will do what all these processes will do …..at a fraction of the cost!

Why choose Vaporooter to Stop Tree Roots in pipes?

Every situation with tree roots in sewer pipes is different!
If you know tree roots are causing your blocked sewer pipes but you’re unsure if Vaporooter will improve your situation, I want you to ring and ask me personally.
As a regular reader of this blog you already know there are several ways to Stop Tree Roots in Drains

Root cutting: Makes the roots grow back Thicker and Stronger!
Pipe excavation: Damages gardens, lawns and footpaths. It is messy and can be very expensive!
Pipe relining: Its expensive!

Vaporooter will do what all these processes will do…at a fraction of the cost!
And treat your entire property.
I think that’s worth considering.

No matter where you are in Australia, if you have a blocked drain caused by tree roots and you want to discuss your particular blocked drain situation, please ring and ask me on 1800 637 600
Tree Boxer

How can tree roots destroy pipes?

Tree root cells, which can be microscopic in their first stages of development, look for warmth and humidity so that they can mature.

In their search, they are attracted to and discover drain lines, which they can penetrate through extremely small openings in the pipe joints and gradually grow inside them.

As the tree roots mature inside the pipes, they create blockages when waste water is flushed through them.

Now, one of the least efficient methods of unblocking the pipes is cutting the roots, this “pruning” action actually leads to a more vigorous tree root regrowth.

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