What to do about tree root damage to a septic tank

septic tank tree root damage

Damage from tree roots is a common problem for underground septic tanks or small sewage treatment plants.

Often the issue can take several years to develop but over time, if left untreated, it can become complex and costly to fix.

In properties with a lot of trees and shrubs, roots can put pressure on the tank and cause cracking or bending.

In some cases they can even grow into the septic tank itself, allowing groundwater to enter and restricting its correct operation.

This can result in the tank backing up into the property, causing the presence of unpleasant smells and dirty water.  

What steps can I take to resolve tree root damage?

The best way to tackle a problem is to gain the best understanding of it – but when it’s underground this isn’t straightforward.

A detailed professional septic tank survey will give a clearer idea of the extent of the damage and the most appropriate course of action.

But don’t just start chopping trees down – you may not know where the roots spread and could even affect neighbouring property.

Once the amount of root damage has been confirme, you’ll also want to check what your property insurance covers.

Typically, building insurance should cover any required maintenance, repair or replacement work, so make sure this is the case.

Will I need a new septic tank?

Repair or replacement will depend on the age of your septic tank and the type of tree root damage.

For smaller roots, some professionals will use high pressure water jets for removal, or chemical treatments to dissolve them.

But if the damage is too great, it may be necessary to replace the tank altogether.

As most underground septic tanks pre-date recent UK regulations, it’s likely that a small sewage treatment plant will be the best option.

But installation, particularly near to established tree root presence, is something that may cause disruption if not handled by an expert.

If you’re unsure, check whether your property’s septic tank complies with up-to-date regulations.

Want to speak to a septic tank specialist?

Unfortunately, despite the common nature of tree root damage, particularly with older septic tanks, it’s not easily fixed.

But with a professional survey and treatment assessment, you can identify and solve any issues in the most cost effective way.

If you’d like to arrange a visit from one of our specialists, or simply want to discuss your problem over the phone, please get in touch.

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