Can Tree Roots Block or Clog Lateral Lines?

Finally, the construction of your home is taking place. You have waited for years to get the perfect place and the perfect time to get it started. Your work has been very demanding for the past months. The schedule you had didn’t allow you to set your plan into motion. You were only fortunate to have a month’s break from it all to get the ball rolling, then you could have enough time to find someone to supervise for you. It is your home after all. You need to have everything right with the money you are investing on it. One of the plans that you had for years was to have lots of trees in your yard. But the dilemma started to reveal itself when the idea of having a septic system entered the picture. You wanted to incorporate a bunch of trees to have the look of a secret garden on your property. But the thought of having the drain field underneath those trees made you think of a resounding question—can tree roots block or clog lateral lines?

You have already talked with the architect and the septic professionals that you have hired. The aesthetical aspect of the yard was stressed by your architect but the septic professional emphasized the effect of the trees on the drain field and lateral lines. Before an argument ensued, you just decided to go with the septic professional and compromise with the architect’s landscaping ideas. You just opted for the trees to frame the entire property or at least a few meters surrounding the area of the drain field. This would assure the safety of the lateral lines and the long life of the septic system. You only want what is best for your investment and taking the expert’s advice would be a great way to start.

The septic system’s drain field is a very important part of the waste water treatment process. This is the part where the final treatment and purification takes place. With the leach field in full throttle, the effluent is surely prepared to get rid of the toxins, viruses, pollutants, and harmful bacteria that are detrimental to your health and to your environment. This is why the leach field should be well-cared for. The lateral lines in the drain field are needed to distribute the purified wastewater to the surrounding soil. If these are clogged, the pretreated wastewater will back up onto your yard or into your home. The common causes of lateral line clogging are the accumulation of the bio-mat and the tree roots that invade them.

Trees have complex root systems that never stop searching for nutrients and water to sustain their processes. This prompts the roots to go deeper and deeper into the soil. The lateral lines are rich with nutritious effluent that is an ideal source of sustenance for the trees. As the roots cling and penetrate the lateral lines, damage ensues. The lateral lines break and this makes the drain field fail. It would definitely be a very expensive repair process, if you let the roots of trees get into your lateral lines. Your investment will be treated poorly and will deteriorate in a matter of a few short years.

Your yard was definitely coming together with the septic experts doing their job and your design team at a standby when their septic system work is finished. You have a feeling that everything is falling in its right place. You are positive about this entire project. Even if it is going to take a while for your home to be finished and fully functional, you know that it will be one of the best decisions that you have ever made. Your septic system is an important piece of your home. Without it, your wastewater will never be disposed of properly. It is only right for you to make sure that everything is all right and followed systematically. Tree roots can really clog the lateral lines. You have made the right decision to place the trees away from the drain field. This is only one of the responsibilities that you have as a homeowner and you have done it with full consideration.