Sewer Chokes

A sewer choke is a blockage in a wastewater pipe. They occur when there's something inside the pipe that stops it working properly.

If the sewer block occurs on your property, clearance of the choke is your responsibility; contact your local plumber for help. 

Sewer chokes present in the form of slowly draining sinks, overflowing trap gullies, or strange gurgling noises coming from pipes. In some unfortunate cases, the first sign that you have a problem with sewer choke is when the water in your toilet bowl backs up and does not drain away.

There are several causes of sewer choke:

Tree Roots Invading and Blocking the Sewer Pipe

Tree roots are said to cause nearly 80 percent of sewer chokes; roots will find their way into pipes and grow as they feed on the moisture. As they grow they slow and eventually block, the flow of water.

Coping with existing root systems is problematic, and the options are minimal. These include regular clearing of tree roots from sewer pipes and regular root cutting, but in some instances the only real solution is to remove the tree entirely

When planting new trees always check where your sewer pipes are located and how far various species of tree will spread in search of water, to ensure you avoid future problems.

Old Pipes Deteriorating

If you suspect that your sewage pipes are ageing, it is a good idea to arrange an inspection of the pipes. Identifying early that replacement is needed is a far better than having to deal with a plumbing emergency later.

Flushing Foreign Objects down the Toilet

Apply common sense when disposing of items not designed to be flushed. Items such as disposable nappies, wet wipes, cotton buds, and tampons do not break down and can form pipe blockages.

Other foreign substances like liquid fats, oils, paints and chemicals cause blockages when poured down the drain. They will either build up inside the drain or eat away at the drains themselves, allowing foreign material to enter the drainage system.

Educating your household on what not to flush will go a long way to preventing sewer choke problems.