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Rootering & Hydro-Jetting Your Septic System: Is it worth it?

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roto-rooter hydro-jet going through tree roots

Septic system problems never happen at a good time. Most septic problems stem from the inability of the drainfield to accommodate the amount of wastewater flowing to it from the home. With the average life span of a drainfield being 25 years, all septic systems will eventually require replacement. But, what if system replacement isn’t in your budget?

Some systems can be rootered or hydro-jetted to prolong their life. There are pros and cons to everything, so let’s break this down.


  • If successful, it’s much less costly than system replacement and can buy you many years.
  • It can prolong the life of the system.
  • It can clear out moderate roots.
  • It can clear the pipe of sludge.
  • It can clear blockages.
  • A cleanout is usually installed; this allows the homeowner to monitor the pipe for flow or backup. It also allows the line(s) to be cleared again for preventative maintenance.
  • The tank will need to be pumped to help prevent the lines past the tank from overflowing while the work is being performed. If your tank has not been pumped in 3-5 years, it’s time to do so anyway.


  • If you have a clay pipe system, it’s not an option.
  • It’s not guaranteed to help. Systems can fail for many reasons other than a clogged pipe, sludge or roots. The money will be wasted if the service is not successful.
  • Not all lines can be reached with the rooter or jetting machine.
  • If your tank has been recently pumped, chances are it will need to be pumped again to help prevent the lines past the tank from overflowing while the work is being performed.
  • Machine excavation will be required, which means your grass may need to be replanted, underground utilities or sprinkler lines may be damaged (we recommend you always call your local dig hotline to have your utilities marked). However, this requires much less machinery and excavation than system replacement.
  • It may not be a good option when dealing with a real estate transaction. Because there are no guarantees, this can leave the homeowner with some liability.

roto-rooter hydro-jet going through tree rootsFor many years, we did not offer these services as we did not want to offer a ‘band-aid” solution. However, we’ve listened to our customers and tons of requests for options other than system replacement. While not all systems can be restored by rootering or hydro-jetting, we are willing to provide the service if the customer is willing to give it a try.

How is your septic system working? First, if you haven’t cleaned your tank in the past 3-5 years that is the first step to a healthy and happy septic system. But, if your system seems sluggish and you’d like to explore options for rootering or jetting, give us a call. If all else fails and you need a brand new system, we can help with that too.

We’ve been installing septic systems in the San Antonio and surrounding area for over 80 years. No matter your need, call us. We are ready to serve you.

For 86+ years, Van Delden Wastewater Systems has withstood the test of time as the leading Wastewater System company, providing San Antonio, Boerne, and the surrounding Texas Hill Country with services you can count on now and in the future. 

Call us for any of your wastewater systems needs and let our professionals help you with your septic installation and maintenance requirements: 210.698.2000 (San Antonio) or 830.249.4000 (Boerne).

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