Septic tank maintenance

roots in drainfield

Chemicals used to keep roots away from French drains.

This article will cover chemicals used to keep roots away from French drains. There are homeowners who prefer having French drains in their premises. The French drain is also known as the blind drain, weeping tile, rock drain, rubble drain, French ditch, land drain, perimeter drain or drain tile. It is a constructed trench filled with rock, gravel, or a perforated pipeline. Its purpose is to redirect the groundwater or surface water away from the living area. The perforated pipeline extends below the layer of rock to help channel the water seeping through quickly. It was made popular by the pre-engineered version that doesn’t require the use of gravel or rocks anymore. The pre-engineered French drain has substitute lightweight gravel surrounding the corrugated, perforated pipe. The gravel substitute and pipe are then wrapped with a filter fabric. French drains are usually constructed to prevent surface water from damaging or penetrating the foundations of a structure. It also distributes wastewater towards the septic system. They are also situated at the back or retaining walls to eliminate the ground water pressure.

You can find French drains very useful in facing several issues such as water stagnation or collection that causes damage to the foundations of your home or areas of your basement. It could also help you eliminate the flooding in your yard every time heavy rains occur. French drains also help solve your problems with seepage if your property is situated near a water table that is near the surface.

In siting and constructing a French drain, you should consider the following:

  • It should be placed 3 feet from the house or building. The depth of the drain should be equal to its distance from the structure. The necessary distance keeps its trench from damage and the foundations from corroding.
  • The water source should be noted. You have to set where the water will come from. Is it low end or low end of the French drain. It would be ideal to divert the water flow to the downwards slope of the property or the house. It could easily be directed to drain into a dry well of a gravel pit where it could just seep into the ground. It could also be directed to flow into a natural drain in the area such as a creek.
  • Make sure that there is at least 1/8 inch fall in every foot of your drain. Essentially, this is 1 foot for every 100 feet of the drain’s length. You can effectively make a path for the drain with paint that could be sprayed upside down.
  • See to it that there are no plants or trees where the French drain is located. Root systems constantly look for abundant sources of food and nutrients for the growing organisms. If you French drain becomes invaded by roots, it is only a matter of time before it is clogged and fails to do its function. As you know, roots love moist environments. If they aren’t controlled, they will damage the French drain system. Consider the following in  French drain root control:
    • Replace the pipe is there is already significant damage or clogging.
    • Line the pipe to prevent the roots from getting into the holes of the pipe. This option is more practical than constantly replacing the pipe or extensively removing the trees.
    • Get experts to remove the surrounding trees or plants manually. This should be done on a regular basis because even if they are removed, there is still a possibility that they will grow back. Manual o mechanical removal of roots is usually done with other treatments such as chemical control.
    • Consider chemicals used to keep roots away from French drains. There are chemicals that can inexpensively remove and prevent roots from invading your French drain. However, caution should be considered because they are usually hazardous to the surrounding environment. That is why many homeowners and drain experts stick to copper sulphate-based root killers.

Always consult your local drain expert for additional information about French drain maintenance and care. You drain can serve you for a long time if they are protected from blockages brought upon by solid wastes and root systems.