California is currently in the midst of what has been described by many observers as the worst drought in recent history. Conditions are so bad that the state now imposes a $500 fine on anyone caught wasting water. Aside from hindering the residents’ ability to wash their cars and water their lawns, the water shortage will also cost the state about $2.2 billion in lost agricultural revenue and additional costs for pumping groundwater.
The drought also triggered another serious problem: tree roots have been invading sewer systems in a desperate bid to get water. Nick Green of DailyBreeze.com offers more details on this peculiar development:
Turns out there’s another threat from California’s drought that has cost taxpayers and this city tens of thousands of dollars just in the past few months — thirsty trees clogging sewer lines in the search for water.
“We have 287 miles of sewer main and we have over 3,000 city trees and some of our sewer system is 100 years old,” said Tom Cook, who supervises the 11-person wastewater crew that deals with sewer line backups. “Some of those roots grow a little faster than we can remove them.”
The combination of the large roots of increasingly mature trees in Torrance’s 102-year-old streetscape searching for water and invading aging and sometimes delicate sewer mains has kept Cook and his crew scrambling in recent months.
As utility companies know, tree roots can wreak havoc on pipes, clogging and eventually causing them to burst. This scenario presents two dilemmas: first, waste water escapes, which can pose serious health risks to people. Second, tree roots can also damage water pipes conveying clean water, which further aggravates the water shortage.
To solve this problem, many utility companies use hydro jetting to dislodge these “thirsty” roots from the sewer system. By blasting powerful jets of water through the pipes, utility professionals can clear away any blockage to restore proper water flow and prevent pipes from bursting. To fulfill this task, utility companies need crucial pieces of equipment such as the appropriate sewer nozzles.
Fortunately, trusted dealers like Haaker Equipment Company carry a diverse range of nozzles from leading manufacturers such as Shamrock, Stoneage, and Warthog, all suited for a variety of cleaning tasks. By buying sewer cleaning tools from reliable companies, utility specialists can get high-quality products at very reasonable prices.
(Source: California drought: Thirsty trees seeking water are clogging Torrance sewers, DailyBreeze.com, March 9, 2014)