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The importance of root foaming in sewer asset maintenance


As technology continues to offer new ways to solve demanding drain maintenance challenges, it is important now more than ever to develop an effective strategy.

While parks departments, businesses and homeowners work to beautify landscapes above ground, the problems those efforts can create below ground are reaching epic proportions.

Although roots have always been a major source of sewer blockages and structural damage, grease and debris make the job more difficult.

Since 1980, Vaporooter has proven to be the most effective formula for eliminating roots and preventing re-growth for years to come.

As the chemical dissipates quickly without leaving any harmful residue behind, it is the undisputed first choice. Vaporooter is the only herbicide registered by the APVMA to control root intrusion into sewer pipes.

How it works is simple. It is a combination of two herbicides – metham sodium and dichlobenil.

Metham has the unique ability to kill all roots on contact without harming the plant itself while dichlobenil is a powerful growth inhibitor.

The final ingredient that ensures a low dose of herbicide is highly effective is a surfactant that allows for the delivery of the herbicides in dense foam, thereby ensuring all roots and pipe surfaces are thoroughly contacted.

Vaporooter is applied with a specially developed jetter nozzle that generates dense foam with a consistency like shaving cream.

It also includes a specially formulated surfactant which penetrates grease and root mass to ensure full chemical contact on all root and pipe surfaces.

This industry leading foam technology thoroughly coats the roots and pipe walls thereby significantly reducing the amount of chemical needed to get the job done.

A choice with Vaporooter

Drainchem Sewer Maintenance Products is the importer and distributor of Vaporooter, with Company Director Marshall Horne developing a nationwide network of experienced, independent contractors applying its product.

It now directly contracts the application of Vaporooter in Queensland and Northern New South Wales.

It’s through this extensive experience that has allowed Drainchem to work closely with water authorities to provide guidance on cost-effective ways to achieve their goals in chemical root control.

Once an authority decides to perform the work in-house, the company assists in choosing the equipment that is right for the job.

One example is the Skid Mount Root Foamer.

Drainchem offers this standardised, skid mounted foam generator that can be placed in the back of a pickup truck or on a small trailer. It can then be connected to any of company’s compatible jet trucks.

This allows for a flexible, off-the-shelf, and cost viable option for many authorities.

Vaporooter also offers the Jet-Set Root Foamer which is a custom designed permanent installation on a jet truck. The equipment, hydraulics and additional tank are installed directly onto the city’s jet truck.

A third option, which is increasingly becoming popular, is the ability to specify a root control system when purchasing a new unit. These foaming units are designed to allow operators to treat 1200 metres or more per day.

“Some of our water authorities have been applying Vaporooter for over 20 years and the bottom line is that these authorities have virtually eliminated root caused stoppages,” Horne said.

“Year after year, these authorities have Vaporooter applied and see consistent results translate into dramatically lower overflows. I think this speaks volumes about the quality and effectiveness of Vaporooter,

“Whether a water authority chooses a dependable licensed contractor or does the work itself it is going to be happy with the proven results of Vaporooter.”

40 years of trust

Sewer departments are balancing issues from new construction to natural disasters, however getting roots under control continues to be a critical issue.

The search for cost-effective ways to respond to an ever-increasing root and grease problem will continue however, with the trusted experience of Vaporooter, companies can be sure they’ve found a strategy that works for them.

This article featured in the August edition of Trenchless Australasia. 

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