Tree Roots in Sewers and Drains

roots in sewer

If  you are wondering what this photo is about, its been taken from the inside of a 100mm sewer pipe with a CCTV camera.

What it shows is the pipe is almost completely blocked with roots that have penetrated the pipe joints.

If you think all these roots are quite thin then have a look at this Root that has been cut out of a sewer, compared with a 50c coin.


Just remember these photos before you plant a big tree in that Easement in your property.

Most water authorities produce guides of suitable things to plant near sewers and drains, Thia is a link to: Melbourne Water’s Guide.



  1. Erica

    Drains are not my most favorite topic but is there some chemical you can pour down the sewer to get rid of roots.

    1. Brian Ashworth (Post author)

      Not really, a lot of water authorities used to use root cutters and then fill the pipe full of a chemical foam that was supposed to stop root growth. In general this didn’t seem to make much difference. The only solutions are either root cutting twice a year or reline the pipe.

  2. Harris13

    Yes root cutting is the best solution for you and the plant you planted. Using chemicals can be hazardous to you and it will effect the pipe also. Melbourne Water’s Guide is really useful. Good share…

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