How do roots enter drainage systems?

Plants, like any living-thing, need water and nutrients to survive. Plants however, absorb these via a network of roots that extend below the ground. In the search for sustenance, roots will enter drainage or sewer systems through breaks in the pipework, or through the joints. Depending on the plant, once inside, the roots cause further issues. Fractures may be opened into larger ruptures as the root thickens. Roots may grow into dense structures that function similar to nets, causing blockages.

Drain root removal

We at McAllister Group, have a variety of methods and techniques we can use for cutting and removal.

The majority of these roots can be removed using our high pressure water jetting units. However, to ensure the removal of all roots a special root cutting head is fitted to the high pressure jetting unit. These flail jets have chains at the rear which spin around chopping at the roots as they rotate and have a forward-facing cutting head that rotates with the pressure of water being pumped through them.

For tougher “tap roots” which are much thicker and difficult to cut through, we will deploy a specialist high pressure water jetter cutting rig. It is significantly more powerful and will cut through the root will ease.

On occasion we can use our robotic cutting units to remove any stubborn roots although this is a slower process.

The benefit of most of our drain root removal techniques is the fact that we aren’t required to excavate. In a similar idea to keyhole surgery, we are able to cut and remove root invasions without damaging the surrounding area. This saves time and money through lack of aesthetic remodeling work afterwards.

Once the roots have been removed we recommend rehabilitating the pipe. This prevents further root ingress by sealing the joints or fractures with patch repairs or relining.