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5 Sure Signs of a Busted Sewer Line

There are over 500,000 miles of sewer lines stretching across America, many of which are 30 years or older. As your house ages, the sewer lines for your home could bust.

image - 5 Sure Signs of a Busted Sewer Line
5 Sure Signs of a Busted Sewer Line

This will leave you with a potentially dangerous mess on your hands. That’s why it’s so important to notice the signs and catch a busted sewer line early.

Keep an eye out for these signs and call the professionals if you notice them.


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  1. Terrible Smell

The most obvious sign of a leaking sewer system is a terrible smell. Your sewage system should be airtight except for the vents on your roof. If you smell unpleasant odors in or around your home, there’s a crack or leak somewhere in your system.

  1. Extra Lush Grass

It may sound like a good thing to have extra lush grass, but if you see your new lush grass is in patches, this is a bad sign. Your leaking sewer system is providing nutrients to your lawn.

It may sound gross, but sewage acts as a fertilizer, so if you see lush grass where your sewage system is, this is a sign that it’s leaking. It can help to have a property map that outlines where your sewage lines are. Then you can track and compare.

  1. Drains Backing Up

Your sewer system is designed to flow with gravity. So when there’s a blockage in the system, the next place the sewage flows is to the next lowest outlet. One of the drains in your home is going to become the new outlet when the mainline is blocked.

You’ll know you have this problem if every time you flush or run water somewhere, it starts to come up at the lowest drain in your home. The main drain clean out can prevent this.

Look for water or sewage to bubble up or rise through the drain in your shower, the floor drain in your basement, a sink, or the toilet.

  1. Sinking or Indents in the Ground

Another problem that might occur when you have a sewage line leaking is a sinking or indented spot. This happens when the main sewer line constantly leaks, which saturates the ground and causes the soil to erode.

As the underlying soil dissipates, the ground on top begins to sink. Now you have a dip in the surface ground.

  1. Pooling in the Yard

If you don’t notice the smell, lush grass, or indent, a third problem can occur. When the leak grows, and septic waste begins to leak at a stronger pace, you could have waste pooling in your yard.

This problem is typically a cracked main line, clogged drain field, or broken septic tank.

Care for Your Sewer Line

All of these problems are easily preventable by caring for your sewer line. Don’t drive over or place heavy equipment in your yard over the sewer system. Has the system cleaned out regularly? Don’t put anything down your drains or toilet that shouldn’t go down there.

Check out the home improvement section of our blog for more helpful articles like this one.


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