How Landscaping can Damage your Plumbing


How Landscaping can Damage your Plumbing

During the spring and summer months, many homeowners install new or replace existing landscaping to beautify the exterior of their home. It might be as simple as planting new plants and shrubbery to spruce up outdoor barbeque areas or larger projects such as removing the hedging that has gotten out of hand. Regardless of the task, before embarking on a landscaping project, you should consider the ramifications it could have on your plumbing system.

Locate the Lines
Before you make the first plunge with a shovel, you must verify there are no plumbing lines in the area. It takes just one strike from a shovel or other garden tool to rupture an existing water line. Aside form the initial shock you will experience as you are showered with water, you will face the added costs of repairing the applicable water line. Main water lines most often take a straight path from the water meter or pump to the house and should be easy to locate. Irrigation lines can encompass many areas of the yard and are more difficult to track down. Sewage lines, usually head to the street or septic tank system. Most have an exposed clean out that can help you identify their path.

Stay Clear of Sewer Lines
Never plant anything near your plumbing lines with deep root systems. As the foliage matures, their roots can become entangled in or even penetrate some sewer lines. This is especially true of older sewage lines — Orangeburg, clay or cast iron — that are very susceptible to tree roots. When shrub or tree roots penetrate a sewer line, rest assured it will just be a matter of time before you experience a major blockage that could cause sewage to back up into your home. This will require you to hire a plumber to snake the line and remove the blockage. In addition, once tree roots penetrate a sewer line, they most likely will return time and again, even after snaking.

Avoid Septic System Areas
In addition to sewer lines, you should also avoid planting anything near your septic tank and adjoining drain/leach field. Root systems will quickly penetrate a drain field seeking the rich, nutrient filled waste water dispersed from your septic tank. The roots will entangle, choke and damage the drain field and prevent adequate drainage. All septic tank systems require efficient drain fields necessary to disperse household waste water into the ground. Since drain field replacement can cost several thousand dollars or more, you would be wise to avoid any landscaping activities near their location.

If you think these are issues you might run into as you embark on your landscaping projects this year, contact The Pink Plumber today.