Drainage issues in your home typically develop over a long period of time. Eventually it will get to a point where the water will back up, or when slow-flowing water is no longer acceptable to you. If the problem is due to tree roots getting into your home's sewer line, there are several options for diagnosing and solving the problem.
An old clay pipe will develop many small cracks, which is how tree roots get inside of them. PVC pipes occasionally have problems where a joint did not seal perfectly, allowing tree roots to grow through the pipe connection. Your municipality is only responsible for correcting problems at the main connection to the sewer, leaving all other problems up to you.
Diagnose The Problem
Roots will naturally grow where there is a moisture source. Pipes that are cracked and leaking are going to provide plenty of moisture to the soil and stimulate growth towards the pipe. All it takes is a tiny root to get into a pipe, as it will continue to expand and eventually reduces the water flow in the drain.
The first thing you must do is figure out where the problem spot in your sewer line is located. Your sewer line is not pressurized, and can be easily accessed through the sewer clean-out access cap. It can be found outside your home where the plumbing leaves the structure.
A Small Solution
You can use a sewer snake to clean out the clog through the main clean-out access point. The snake is basically a coiled spring with blades on the end. It's stiff enough to navigate through the pipe, and turning the cable will help cut through any clog that is in there.
Based on how much of the snake made its way through the sewer line with ease, you can get a general idea where the crack in your sewer line is located.
A Bigger Solution
Sometimes the best way to fix a tree root problem is by digging up the pipe and replacing it. You may even want to go one step further and get rid of the tree that is creating the tree root problem in the first place. You will need to seek professional help to assist with excavation and replacing the broken sewer line, as any errors in the repair process will just cause tree roots to enter the pipe again. For this, contact professionals like A Absolute Plumbing & Heating.