Tree-roots in sewer leads to potentially explosive situation

All is not what it seems inside Melbourne’s sewer and stormwater drains. And the smells emanating from them are not what you’d normally expect.

Recently The Drain Man was called to inspect a blocked sewer drain at a property in Melbourne. We conducted our regular camera inspection on arrival, which revealed a large mass of tree roots growing through the drain. We immediately got to work and started clearing the “tree-roots” with a drain-clearing machine and high-pressure water jetter.

The core of the “tree-root” was proving very tough to cut through but the greater problem was that our plumber was starting to notice the aroma of gas. Not the usual “sewer gas” but real, actual, flame-burning gas!!!

He immediately stopped work and called the gas company who raced to the site and confirmed that indeed the “tree-root” in the sewer was in actual fact, a gas pipe! The leak was sealed and the fire brigade came to clear out any gas from the sewer network.

Some idiot, many years ago, when the gas lines were laid, had simply drilled a hole through the sewer pipe and laid the gas pipe right through it! Over the years, tree-roots had entered the sewer around the hole caused by the gas pipe and these roots had wrapped themselves around the pipe, completely encasing it and making it look like a thick tree-root.

It’s not the first time this has happened. We’ve had many times where people have reported a “blockage” in their stormwater drains, only to discover that someone has run a telecommunications or cable TV conduit straight through their drain. In fact, we even had someone who had decided to use the stormwater drain as a conduit in which to run the entire cable through!

So if you have something blocking your drains and you’re not absolutely sure what it is, please don’t try to clear it yourself. Call a professional drain clearing service, like The Drain Man. We’ll take the risk, not you! Call us on 1800 843 372.


The Drain Man are Australia’s original specialists in blocked drains & plumbing services. Servicing MelbourneSydney and many other regions throughout Australia, we have over 15 years expertise in drain reliningblocked drain plumbingCCTV drain inspections, blocked toilets, sewerage systems, overflowing drain services and other drain/sewer/pipe related services.<>/p<