When a Sydney home began flooding last week, the last thing its occupants expected to find was something the size of an "anaconda snake" growing beneath it.
The mammoth four-and-a-half-metre long surprise was discovered by plumber David Hall, who was called to the property in Newport on Sydney's Northern Beaches, on Friday.
Thinly woven tree roots that had likely been growing for about 10 years inside the home's underground stormwater pipe was the source of the problem, Mr Hall told Yahoo News Australia.
"That's the biggest I've ever had. The tree roots, about the thickness of your hair, get into pipes through small cracks and just become enormous," he said.
"The owners didn't know about it until we noticed some flooding. I inspected the drain using a CCTV camera. We put that down the drain then found that blockage and pulled it out."
After seeing what the massive volume of tree roots pulled from the pipes, the home owners were "absolutely shocked", Mr Hall said.
"They were so shocked, they had never seen anything like it."
The clump of tree roots was the biggest Mr Hall had pulled from a pipe since founding The Clean Plumber and took him a full eight-hour day to remove.
He explained the mass of roots couldn't actually be pulled out of a drain and instead the whole drain needed to be dug up and replaced.
To avoid dealing with such an ordeal, Mr Hall advised home owners to get their pipes inspected every 12 months.
"It's quite easy these days with the cameras we can put down the drains. We can inspect the inside of the drains and see if there's any roots starting to grow, and clear them with a high pressure jet blaster."
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