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What is the cost to remove tree roots from a stormwater line in Sydney?

Removing tree roots from a stormwater line can become the only answer to fixing a blocked drain issue in Sydney.


Removing tree roots can solve blocked drain issues.

Nu Trend is a licensed plumber in Sydney that can help fix blocked drains for simple situations like a kitchen sink or for commercial, retail or public property locations. We were contracted to fix a blocked drain in York Street Sydney after initially being called to investigate the cause of constant flooding of the Anglican Church. In most wet weather situations it wasn’t too much of an issue and not noticeable, although during heavy rainfall periods there would be a lot of flooding. 



By using our our CCTV Camera Inspection equipment we were able to look inside all the pipes around the property and we discovered the entire storm water line from the street all the way to the building was completely blocked with thick tree roots. They had been growing in the pipes for many years and had made their way through small cracks in the pipes.



In some blocked drain situations we may be able to do a High Pressure Water Jet Blast to solve the blockage but in this case it wouldn’t make sense. The high pressure water might be able to break off some of the roots but it wouldn’t be a long term solution, they’d grow back in a few months and the same issue would occur in the pipe. We always help each property owner understand the underlying plumbing problem so they have a choice of how they’d like to get it fixed. 


This is typically a higher cost up front, but you save money in the long run because you are not paying for regular repairs or fixes. So for this example we spent a few days to plan the steps needed, including Council permits to be able to cut into the footpath, remove all the debris & complete the rectification work. In the end we needed to make sure that all the roof and surface water flowed out to the street while also replacing some of the earthern piping with more modern pvc pieces that will last a long, long time while preventing roots from growing inside them.

How much does it cost to get roots removed from a blocked drain?

If any plumber in Sydney gives you a fixed price quote over the phone to have roots removed from a blocked drain – run.

How can anyone actually know what work is required or how much damage has been done to the piping? It’s impossible without inspecting everything first or even knowing what type of piping is under the ground.

As you will see from the example below we had to eventually excavate on the property and to the street. In other situations it might require other solutions or even digging under a house with a concrete slab.

Therefore there is no single cost that can be quoted for a blocked drain repair as every scenario will be different. It might be $350 for a water jet blast or $3,500 for major works.

How do tree roots block drains in Sydney?

Older properties and piping can be prone to penetration from tree roots, especially if the piping is earthern or clay. The roots that manage to get into the line are usually no thicker than a strand of hair to begin with. A

s the tree roots feed on the water and nutrients that flow out through the pipes, they develop from little shoots to a bit mesh inside the pipe. 

If you are lucky water can still flow and you may never have any issues, but in lots of cases drainage can be effected.

How can you tell if your pipes are blocked by tree roots?

The most obvious sign is water doesn’t drain from sinks or storm water drains. At other times you may notice the ground is quite wet or there is water seeping from cracks or joins in the footpath or under walls etc. T

he situations can vary greatly and the only way to really understand what is happening is with a CCTV Camera Inspection to see inside the pipes.

Once we can see what is causing the blockage we can assess how bad the situation is and then work out potential rectification works to resolve it quickly.

What does unblocking a drain filled with tree roots look like?

See some of our other plumbing advice stories

Rick Karagiannis - Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis - Plumber & Bathroom Renovator

Rick Karagiannis is a licensed Plumber, Building Renovator and Director of Nu-Trend, a Sydney Plumber and Bathroom Renovations contractor. Nu-Trend has been operating since 2009 as an independent sole trader in Sydney. Rick provides all types of services for small bathroom renovations, leaking tap repairs, hot water high-pressure jet blasting and more.

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