Keep invasive tree roots from plugging your sewer line by boring them out with an rented auger, cutting the trees or calling in pros. The pros will bore the line open for you, treat the roots with poison, replace the old pipe or reline the old pipe.
A pro can run a camera down the sewer line to determine exactly what's clogging the pipe.
If you live a wooded lot and have problems with tree roots invading your sewer system and clogging it up, don't assume you have to cut the trees down! As you can see from the photo, the tree roots work their way through cracks or joints in older sewer lines made of clay tile, cast iron or an asphalt composite style called “orangeberg” piping. The roots are seeking that nutrient rich soup you're sending down the drains and toilets (there's no accounting for taste). Clay and cast iron are rarely used anymore because of those loose-fitting joints that tree roots can penetrate. These materials are also heavy, hard to work with, expensive, brittle and prone to breakage. Nowadays nearly all sewer lines are made of plastic pipe—it's cheap, tough and lightweight, and the joints are impervious to tree roots.
You've got three options, none ideal: Continue reaming
the lines periodically, cut down the trees, or call in the pros.
Larger sewer-cleaning companies will ream out the line
or actually send a mini video camera inside the pipe to
determine exactly what the problem is. They'll find out
if the line is crushed, cracked, or sloped improperly, or if
tree roots are worming their way through cracks or loose
joints. Then they'll recommend a course of action, which