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Be Sewer Savvy

East Gippsland Water

Growing problems with tree roots

Invasive tree roots are the most common cause of blockages to sewer pipes in East Gippsland. They also have the potential to cause major damage to buildings, footpaths, driveways and household drainage pipes.

It is estimated that water-seeking tree roots are responsible for 30% of all blockages within the East Gippsland Water sewer network. The Corporation spends around $200,000 a year clearing these obstructions and on prevention programs such as root cutting.

Knowing where your sewer pipes run will help identify areas to avoid when planting certain trees and shrubs. It will also help determine where existing trees and shrubs may need to be removed.

Ask an arborist or your local nursery to recommend suitable trees and shrubs to plant close to sewer pipes and to advise on those best to avoid.

Stop it. Don’t block it!

Disposing of inappropriate items down the sink or drain can cause damage to the sewer system and your property, leading to costly repairs as well as harming the environment.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Do not flush wipes, sanitary napkins, tampons or disposable nappies down the toilet
  • Compost food scraps for the garden rather than wash them down the sink
  • Use biodegradeable products and avoid pouring oil, grease or fat down the sink
  • Some chemicals and solvents damage household drains and have the potential to injure maintenance workers. Disposing of salt, garden chemicals, fertilisers¬† and herbicides in drains may be just as hazardous as workshop chemicals.