Causes of blocked drain pipes
A drainage system that is not functioning as it should will not be able to carry off as much ground water and rainwater. The result can be that even plots which are fitted with a drainage system suffer from a detrimental water-to-air ratio or standing surface water, making it difficult to work the land.
How well a drainage system works and how long it lasts depend on clogging processes in and immediately surrounding the drain pipes. There are various factors that can lead to blockage in the drain pipe or clogging of the outer sheath.
Particularly in the initial years following installation of a drain system soil particles are likely to enter the pipe, especially in fine sandy soils. In this case, the entire drainage system should be flushed, preferably within two years after installation.
The intrusion of clay, sand and other soil components into the drain pipe is a continuous process. Once soil particles enter, they settle to the bottom of the pipe, eventually restricting or even completely blocking the flow of water. In sandy soils this process occurs more quickly than in clay. These undesirable solids can be easily flushed away with regular cleaning of the drainage system.
A common problem that can cause blockage of drain pipes is iron oxidation. This is a process in which iron deposits form on the drain pipe, the sheath material or the filter cloth. Annual flushing prevents these from becoming restricted. Contamination caused by iron-rich water can be recognized by iron deposits on the end pipe and brown water flowing out of the drains.
Another form of restriction is when only the pores of the filter cloth become filled with silt. This can be caused by algae growth, for example. To get a drainage system with this problem working properly again, the contamination in the filter cloth must be driven out.
Drainage obstructions can also be caused by penetration of tree and plant roots. The roots themselves are not the only problem; dirt and silt also tend to build up on them. Finally, restrictions can be the result of partial collapse of the drain pipes. This happens when the ground is wet at harvest time and the heavily loaded vehicles leave deep tracks in the field.
Preventive cleaning of the drainage system with the Sieger Drain-Jet drain cleaner averts most problems caused by blockages and keeps the drain pipes in good condition and functioning well.