Common Causes of Blocked Sewers

07 June 2023

Blocked sewers pose significant challenges to public health and the environment. Understanding the common causes behind these blockages is crucial for effective prevention and timely resolution. 

In this informative article, we'll explore the key factors that contribute to blocked sewers, drawing insights from experienced Newcastle plumbing professionals. Keep on reading!

Tree Root Infiltration


Tree root infiltration is a major cause of blocked sewers. In Newcastle, plumbing experts have identified this as a prevalent issue.

How Tree Roots Infiltrate Sewer Pipes

  • Delicate cracks and joints in sewer pipes attract tree roots.

  • Tree roots enter the pipes seeking water and nutrients, eventually causing blockages.

Trees Prone to Root Infiltration

  • Certain tree species, such as willows and poplars, are more likely to infiltrate sewer pipes.

  • Newcastle plumbing specialists emphasise the need to be mindful of tree selection near sewer lines.

Consequences of Tree Root Blockages

  • Blocked sewers due to tree roots can lead to sewage backups, unpleasant odours, and even structural damage.

  • Prompt identification and resolution of root blockages are crucial to prevent further damage.

Grease Buildup


Grease buildup is another significant cause of sewer blockages. Professional plumbers highlight the importance of managing grease effectively.

How Grease Accumulates in Sewer Pipes

  • Improper disposal of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) leads to their accumulation in sewer systems.

  • Over time, FOG solidifies, narrowing sewer pipes and causing blockages.

Common Sources of Grease in Sewer Systems

  • Restaurants, cafeterias, and residential kitchens are major sources of FOG in sewer systems.

  • Plumbing experts stress the need for grease traps and regular maintenance to prevent blockages.

Effects of Grease Buildup on Sewer Flow

  • Accumulated grease restricts the flow of wastewater, leading to backups and overflows.

  • Routine grease trap cleaning and proper FOG disposal are essential preventive measures.

Foreign Objects


Foreign objects introduced into sewer systems can create obstructions, requiring professional intervention from expert plumber specialists.

Examples of Common Foreign Objects

  • Non-biodegradable items like wipes, sanitary products, and personal care items are frequently found in sewers.

  • Flushing or discarding such items down drains contributes to blockages.

How Foreign Objects Cause Blockages

  • Foreign objects accumulate and combine with other debris, forming clogs in sewer pipes.

  • Proper disposal practices and public awareness campaigns play a vital role in preventing these blockages.

Collapsed Pipes


Collapsed pipes are a significant concern in Newcastle's sewer infrastructure, often leading to blockages.

Causes and Factors Leading to Pipe Collapse

  • Ageing infrastructure, soil erosion, and external pressures can cause pipes to collapse.

  • Plumbing experts stress the importance of regular inspections to identify and address weak points.

Signs and Symptoms of Collapsed Pipes

  • Slow drainage, gurgling sounds, and recurring blockages can indicate pipe collapse.

  • Swift action is necessary to prevent further damage and restore proper sewer function.

Prevention and Maintenance Strategies

Prevention and proactive maintenance are crucial to minimise the occurrence of blocked sewers. Professional plumber emphasise the following strategies:

Regular Inspection and Cleaning

  • Periodic sewer inspections help identify potential blockage risks and enable early intervention.

  • High-pressure jetting and sewer flushing techniques effectively remove debris and prevent blockages.

  • Plumbing experts recommend scheduling routine maintenance to ensure optimal sewer performance.

Community Involvement and Awareness

  • Educating the public about proper disposal practices and the consequences of blockages is essential.

  • Collaborative efforts between local authorities, plumbers, and residents can foster a culture of responsible sewer usage.

Innovative Technologies for Early Detection

  • Advanced sewer inspection technologies, such as CCTV cameras and sonar systems, enable early detection of potential issues.

  • Plumbing professionals utilise these technologies to identify blockages and address them promptly.

Understanding the common causes of blocked sewers is crucial for effective prevention and maintenance. In Newcastle, plumbing experts emphasise the need to address tree root infiltration, grease buildup, foreign objects, and collapsed pipes. 

By implementing preventive measures, conducting regular inspections, and fostering community awareness, we can mitigate the occurrence of blocked sewers and ensure the efficient functioning of our sewer systems.

Remember, if you encounter persistent sewer blockages or require professional assistance, reach out to reputable Newcastle plumbing services for expert guidance and resolution.

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