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Root Intrusion - HOW ROOTS GROW IN SEWERS


 
“The intrusion of roots in to sewers is probably the most destructive single element that faces those maintaining a wastewater collection system,” says the U.S. EPA Environmental Protection Technology Series.
There are more than 2.5 billion feet of sewer pipe in the United States, and 60% of all collection systems are made up of pipe with a diameter of 8 inches or smaller.
The potential for root intrusion to inhibit flows, produce stoppages and damage valuable pipe is enormous.
Roots normally do not grow underwater and seldom cause problems where ground water covers the pipe. But in most areas, this is not the case.

Roots Grow Once Cell at a Time
When a seed germinates, it adds one cell at a time toward the best environment from which it might extract nutrients and moisture. The growing point of root moves best through loosely cultivated soil.
The most common practice to lay sewer pipe is by open trench. The back-filled soil offers a good growing medium for roots.
Because the flow in sanitary lines is a higher temperature than the soil, this causes a condensation to appear on the crown of the pipe.
As the warm moisture from the sewer pipe evaporates up through the soil, the vapours offer an excellent trail for the root to follow. If even a vapour leak exists in the pipe, the root concentrates its efforts at that point. Since some pipe joint compounds are of nutrient material them selves, the root may entirely girdle the joint before entering the pipe.

Roots Allow Accumulating Debris
Once inside the sewer pipe, the root takes on the appearance of either a “veil” or a “tail” type structure. If flows in the pipe are fairly constant, the root mass hangs down like a veil to the normal flow level where they accumulate deposits of grease, slime and other debris.
Conventional methods of removing roots by cutting or tearing tend to increase regrowth similar to pruning a tree. Removing roots inside the pipe solves the immediate problem of stoppages, but does nothing to retard the growth or destroy the roots outside the pipe.
This removal, regrowth and removal cycle of cutting and tearing roots generally destroys the structural integrity of the pipe.

Herbicide Fumigants
Herbicide fumigants present the most effective method to destroy roots and inhibit their regrowth without affecting the above ground plant life.
Vaporooter; is a root control herbicides that enters the sewer as a foam. Only roots within the pipe and a short distance outside the pipe are affected. Trees and shrubs immediately above ground are not harmed.
The U.S. EPA has stated, “No other method of control approaches the effectiveness found in…Vaporooter.”

Vaporooter; Prevents Regrowth
Vaporooter can destroy existing sewer roots and prevent their regrowth for an average of three years without harming trees or plants.
Agencies throughout the United States have discovered Vaporooter not only controls roots, but it is cost-effective compared to other maintenance methods.
An analysis of your collection system by and authorized Vaporooter representative will substantiate the economical and preventative maintenance advantages of using Vaporooter.
 
 
Tree root growth is slow but over time can often exceed the growth expectations and requirements. This tree is more than twice the size of the rest of the original planting.
The tree roots have broken into the sewer and have caused two over flows in two years.
Tree roots will destroy infrastructure. This foot path is 100mm thick and is displaced by 150mm. It has been attended to by council on two previous occasions. This same power applied to sewer assets creates displacement, resulting in inflow of ground water hence increased treatment costs, exfiltration of raw sewerage into the water table and blockages resulting in performance failures, overflows, inconvenience to customers and costly repairs to sewer assets
   
   
Inappropriate selection of trees for the beautification of residential landscapes can result in the premature deterioration of underground assets.  The roots on these trees may be two to three metres deep but may have spread across an area several times larger than the drip line in search of food and moisture. Each time you cut roots, like pruning a tree, they will "bleed" the sap to repair the damage and then regrow more vigorously.
 
   
 
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