Trees are known to damage and block drains and sewers with root penetration through joints and defects. Recent higher density house building and amenity tree planting is combining to highlight this problem with roots and sewers in close proximity. Prevention of root penetration will be an issue for new developments and together with the issues of potential adoption of private sewers.
Currently mechanisms by which roots penetrate joints are not fully understood and there is no testing methodology to determine pipe jointing susceptibility to root penetration. The opportunity has now arisen for a collaboration with Germany to address these issues.
The IKT (Institute for Underground Infrastructure) in Germany has recently begun an 18-month study with the Environment Ministry of North Rhine-Westfalia on root penetration of pipe joints, to identify mechanisms and develop a product testing methodology. Through the Portfolio programme, IKT is opening project participation to other wastewater Utilities.
This project will offer significant gearing to participants due to the 250K Euro investment already committed by the German industry.
- Reduction in the costs and risk of pipe damage and blockage by tree roots.
- Improved rehabilitation methods for root penetration.
- Avoidance of root penetration problems in substantial new building planning.
- Direct access to international research.