Signs Tree Roots Are in Your Sewer Pipes

Did you know tree roots can wreak havoc on your sewer pipes? That’s right. Tree roots can grow deep into the ground, and make their way into your pipe system, where they can cause numerous issues.

How to Know If Tree Roots Are in Your Sewer Pipes

There are several signs that tree roots have grown into your sewer pipes. Depending on the severity, the symptoms of tree roots in your sewer pipes can change.

If you’re wondering if tree roots are causing plumbing issues in your home, look for these signs:

  • The initial sign is slow draining with no other discernable cause.
  • Slow flushing and/or sewage backup when flushing.
  • Unpleasant smell, which stems from a damaged sewer pipe.
  • Sinkholes or large puddles in your yard, caused by a burst pipe from root damage.
  • A sudden increase in your monthly water bill.

Preventing Tree Roots in Sewer Pipes

It’s best to avoid this scenario altogether. There are steps you can take to prevent tree roots from running into your sewer pipes.

Some steps to take to prevent tree roots in your sewer pipes are:

  • If you want to plant trees or shrubs, know where not to plant them. If you need help, it’s wise to call the 811 “Call Before You Dig” hotline.
  • If you plant near a sewer line, plant slow-growing trees with a small root ball. It’s always recommended to minimize the plants and trees near sewer lines.
  • Schedule regular plumbing maintenance. A professional plumber can identify any possible root damage before it becomes a bigger issue.

What To Do If Tree Roots Are in Your Sewer Pipes

If tree roots have already grown into your sewer pipes, it’s time to address it. A professional plumber will need to service your home. Professional plumbers can use a specialized pipe camera to identify damages under the ground.

Based on what is found, Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing can put together a plan to repair your damaged pipes. A snake might be used to retrieve root tips causing the issue. If a root has made a hole in the pipe, a plumber may need to dig into the pipe and perform a repair on the hole.


Tree roots can be a real nuisance to your plumbing system. Whenever possible, avoid planting any vegetation near your underground sewer lines. However, sometimes houses are bought with trees and shrubs already there, and then you must work to solve the issue. Elk Grove Village Sewer & Plumbing will be well-versed in tree root removal and will be able to help.


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