The Roots of the Problem

The Treasure Coast hosts a beautiful collection of trees and shrubs renowned throughout the USA. From Myrtle Oak to Bald Cypress to Jacaranda, the wide variety of trees marks the unique topography of Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties.

Homeowners and commercial property managers are fortunate – and smart – to include these types of flora in their landscaping. Yet, that which beautifies the terrain above ground can also wreak havoc beneath the surface.

In fact, the roots of some of these trees are notoriously disorderly in their spread. So much so that if your septic system gets in their way, it is subject to their wrath – puncture, fracture and blockage, for example.

Fortunately, there are ways to anticipate and manage this problem.

How Roots Damage the Septic System

Florida trees are hearty species that can endure the worst summer heat. Their roots are no less robust. These subterranean tentacles exist to increasingly stabilize and continually nourish the trunk and branches above.

What’s more, they keep spreading over the entire life of the tree. They grow best when the surface temperature exceeds the freezing point – not an unusual state of affairs in Jupiter, Port St. Lucie or Stuart.

One trait marks roots above all others: they are always thirsty, and are drawn to the presence of moisture. As a consequence, septic fields are a preferred destination. The roots, slowly but surely, can work their way into a tank, causing obstruction and even rupture.

Evidence of root presence in the septic drain pipes manifests in poor drainage of sinks and tubs; washing machines and dishwashers; and, of course, toilets. Gone unchecked, roots can also burst the sides of the tank, leaking septic fluids into the soil. The grass will become considerably denser and greener where this occurs. It also gets much soggier and might emit a gaseous odor. This gas and bacteria poses danger to humans and wildlife, infecting them with e coli, shigella, salmonella or cholera, to name a few microorganisms.

Anyone suspecting that this acute phase has arrived should promptly contact one of our septic professionals to mitigate this hazard. One of our ‘rooters’ will get to the heart of the problem and make the necessary repairs. In fact, we’ve gone to ‘great lengths’ to ‘root’ out problems for our customers in the past and we’re ready to do it again!

Can This Damage Be Prevented?

There are a few actions that can inhibit roots from their destructive activity:

  • Copper sulfate is a chemical compound that disintegrates and terminates roots that invade the septic tank. Flushing it down the toilet can help to keep the appendages at bay in some cases. One recommendation is to apply two pounds of CuSO4x for every 300 gallons of the tank’s capacity.
  • Another idea is to apply root killer chemicals directly around the tree.
  • Still another method is to install hard plastic barriers beneath the tree that physically block root extensions.

Professional Help for Septic Systems Under Siege

When root invasion has already made headway into the tank, hiring a professional plumbing and septic service like Cooke’s is advisable. Our comprehensive approach includes chemically killing the roots at the base of the tree, removing those that have entered the tank and replacing the pump. If the situation calls for it, the tank may also need replacement. We also know the topography and geography of Port St. Lucie, Stuart, and the Palm Beaches intimately, which is a distinct advantage.

The professional technicians from Cooke’s Plumbing and Septic Services know the dangers of sewage gases and materials, and know how to successfully correct the problem. “Quick…Call Cooke’s” at 772-287-0651 or click here for fast, professional septic repair.