Tree Roots and Septic Drain Fields

Many homeowners are concerned that tree roots can cause their septic system to fail. Here’s a typical question we get:

I have 5 large oak trees within ten feet of my septic and drain field. Will the Septic Genie work here?


Tree roots when they invade a drain field or enter a septic tank become a structural matrix for intestinal bacteria to colonize.  Over time the intestinal bacteria fill the spaces between the hair roots as they do in soil pores.  The process takes longer because the tree roots have larger spaces between the hairs.  This biomat clog will be removed just like the biomat in the soil.  The roots merely want water and nutrients.  They don’t want to be a barrier to the passage of nutrient laden water.

Take a steel wool pad and put it under your kitchen faucet.  Water passes right through.  Now put mayonnaise on it.  No water passes through.  The steel wool is more dense than tree roots.  Mayonnaise is like biomat.  Get rid of the biomat and the tree roots actually help in reducing the amount of liquid that the soil needs to process.  The roots also uptake many of the contaminants that the soil microbes would have to deal with to purify the septic effluent.  But keeping the biomat out of the root mass is necessary.  This the Genie does just like it does in the soil.

We have restored many drain fields with root intrusion using the Genie technology and do more every year.

Leave a Reply