How to Detect and Prevent Tree Roots in Your Sewer Line

Don’t let tree root infestation cause significant damage to your property’s sewerage network, and potentially burn a hole in your pocket due to costly plumbing repairs!! Let’s talk about how to protect your sewer line.

Why are tree roots a likely cause of blockage in sewer lines?

The sewer network in a property drains the wastewater from bathrooms and kitchens into the underground sewerage.

Oftentimes, tree roots expand underground searching for moisture. In the process, they can invade through tiny cracks in the sewer pipeline and begin to catch any foreign objects within the drain system.

What begins as a partial blockage within the drain can eventually lead to a complete blockage over time if not managed effectively.

How to detect if a tree root is causing sewer line blockage?

It’s not easy to zero in on tree roots as being the exact cause of a sewer line blockage. However, there are certain tell-tale signs that help locate the underlying causes of the blockage, including tree roots.

Slow drainage

When your showers or sinks take a long time to drain, this can be a sign of a blockage.

Unpleasant odour

If the sewer pipes are blocked due to the accumulation of organic debris (such as tree roots and soil), these get mixed with the stagnant water inside the pipeline and begin to decompose. This decaying organic matter gives rise to foul-smelling hydrogen sulphide gas.

Cracked drain pipes

If sewer drains show signs of cracking, this could be due to tree root infiltration. Over time, these cracks could lead to burst pipes.

If you notice these warning signs, call for professional help. Experienced plumbers with the Doherty Plumbing Solutions crew can help you detect if these signs are due to tree roots causing a blockage.

Preventing tree roots from blocking sewer lines

Here are a few easy steps to follow.


Regular cleaning of sewer pipes and checking them for signs of blockage will prevent long-term damage to these structures.

Aligned pipelines

When erecting the sewerage infrastructure (particularly for new building projects or renovations), using a licensed plumber will ensure the correct alignment of all pipework. This will prevent unnecessary complications in the drainage system when high volumes of water flow through these.

Filter installations

Physical installations such as leaf diverters and gutter guards will prevent the entry of unwanted objects and debris into the pipeline, thus reducing the chances of clogging. Prevention is the best course of protection.

Cable Machines

Doherty Plumbing Solutions is equipped with another effective tool at their disposal – the cable machine. With the long length of the cable, these are useful to detect clogs deeper into the drainage pipe where it would otherwise be impossible to reach.


Consider where you are planting trees in your garden and keep them clear of sewer points. Keeping leaves cleared regularly will go a long way to preventing leaf accumulation in places you don’t want it.

Where can I get help to deal with blocked drains in Melbourne?

Whatever the cause of the drain blockage, Doherty Plumbing Solutions have the expertise to promptly resolve the issue in the home or business, with minimal disruption to you.

We have drain cameras and cable machines available that can accurately diagnose plumbing problems if required, and help with the cleaning process afterwards.

The Doherty Plumbing Solutions crew service the following regions within Melbourne across the eastern and the south-eastern suburbs.

Contact the friendly team at Doherty Plumbing Solutions today.

Book Online

DD slash MM slash YYYY
Drop files here or
Accepted file types: jpg, jpeg, png, Max. file size: 4 MB, Max. files: 3.
    This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
    Expected attendance time was managed well with calls and alerts prior to. People were respectful, friendly and professional. Problem was quickly diagnosed, fixed and tested through appliances. Clean-up afterwards was greatly appreciated and a step above other service providers. Used Doherty a number of times, very happy to recommend them.
    Stuart Boys Avatar
    Stuart Boys
    Fantastic service. I called with a question about my hot water service and within 24hrs Brian had been out and fixed the problem. Great service, great turnaround times and fair pricing too.
    Emily Kermac Avatar
    Emily Kermac
    Great experience - notified me when they were coming and knew exactly how to fix a difficult problem in lightning time.
    The Crack Avatar
    The Crack
    For reliable plumbing services, call 03 9877 5775 or 0417 577 432