Signs of a sewerage problem

Think you might have a blocked or damaged sewer pipe? Here are some common signs:

1) Blocking of wastewater

Sanitary sewer backups typically occur in the lowest open drain. A backup of wastewater is usually caused by a blockage somewhere in the line. If you experience a backup every time you run water into your sink or tub drain, the problem is probably with your main sewer line because all drains depend on of the main sewer line. However, if backups are limited to a single drain, your problem is probably isolated at that drain.

Regular backups can be a symptom of rupture or deterioration of sewer lines. If you regularly experience backups or plugs even after cleaning the pipes, you may have an underlying problem such as a tree root intrusion, cracks leaving the surrounding ground, or a pipe connection or misalignment issue. These problems can be detected by performing a video inspection of the sewers. You might benefit from Drain Lining. For more information, visit

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2) Odour of sewage

If you smell sewage in or around your house or building, it’s a telling symptom of a crack somewhere in your sewer system. A sanitary sewer must be airtight everywhere. This means that you should never smell the sewer odour unless there is a crack or opening in your sanitary sewer lines.

3) Mould problem

In addition to the smell of sewage, mould growth can also be a sign of sewer pipes breaking behind the walls. Some moulds only need more than 55% moisture to start growing. With this in mind, a broken sewer pipe behind the wall can raise the humidity level to a point where there is a problem with mould. If you see unusual mould growth in your home with a sewage smell, your sewage drainpipes may be broken.

4) Slow drain

Slow drainage may be a symptom of blockage formation that will eventually result in sewage backflow. If your toilet, tub or sink is slowly emptying, even after you have tried to empty the pipe, problems such as tree roots, pipe intrusion or cracks could be the culprit.

Be wary of using too much chemical cleaner to attempt to rectify problems with slow drainage or blockage first. When the chemical is in the pipe, it will deteriorate the cast iron or PVC.

5) Indentation in the lawn or under the paving stones

Another sign of a broken sewer line is a dent forming in your lawn or under paving stones. A cracked main pipe that constantly saturates the ground can cause it to dissipate. Your lawn may form a footprint or trough above the main pipe of your sewer line.

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6) Cracks and sinkholes

More serious symptoms of deterioration of the sewer line include foundation problems such as gaps in the foundation slab, settlement of the foundation and, in some cases, sinkholes.

If the main pipe passing under your slab shows an untreated leak for a long time, a vacuum may form under the foundation or in the yard. This can lead to foundation problems such as cracks in your foundation, subsidence of your home or building, or even a sinkhole.

7) Pooling waste outside

An obvious sign that you may have a broken sewer line would be an accumulation of septic wastewater in your garden or property exterior. The problem may be a broken septic tank, clogged drainage fields or a cracked mainline. Often, the problem area is located directly under the sewage pool.


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