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By 8:30 Nyman's plumbing crew were on the job and rapidly discovered that there were numerous obstructions but they cleared those quickly only to find things very difficult out under the street. As they removed their snake they lost the cutting end. I was advised to contact the town as the blockage appeared to be well out under the street.
Less then an hour after discussing the problem with the town a crew arrived to run a machine through the line. Eight feet of apparatus was sent down the line and it was clear a major obstruction was out there under the street. As they removed their equipment to put a different cutting head on they lost over forty feet of line. The digging equipment was already busy on another site and we were drainless until the following morning.
Now one would think that if you called two plumbers and both were busy late in the evening clearing blocked lines that there must be some sort of blockage epidemic but we were assured that this is normal. The problem occurs all the time and crews work steadily clearing them. Nyamn's team explained to me that fall was particularly bad because it was then that the trees send down their roots to get themselves nutrients as they shut down for the year and these roots sneak into the sewer lines.
Our house was built on the site of an older dwelling and plastic pipe installed in the house was connected to the original clay based line that had originally been connected to the town's sewer line many many years ago. The ceramic tile sewer line is made in four foot pieces and the tree roots enter the line at the joints. When the town crew were working on the line they brought up evidence of massed tree roots in the line.