4 Ways to Identify a Sewer Line Problem

Most plumbing systems have a main sewer line that’s responsible for moving wastewater out of your home and into the municipal sewer system. A sewer line is typically located underground, and it will exit the home and travel under your yard. This will keep the sewer line safe from severe weather and accidental damage, but it isn’t immune to becoming compromised from other sources. If there is a problem with your sewer line, it should be formally diagnosed by a local certified plumber, but there are four warning signs that anyone can recognize if they know what they are looking for.

  1. Puddles of Water in Your Yard

If you have a leak in the sewer line on your property, you may notice the appearance of puddles on the surface of your yard. These could appear in places that don’t make logical sense, such as a puddle right in the middle of a lawn far away from other plants. This is the leaking wastewater from the sewer line leak making its way to the surface of your yard.

  1. Excessive Plant Growth

Every keen gardening likes to see their precious plants growing well in their yard. But, if you notice that the growth seems to be especially excessive in localized areas of your yard you may have a sewer line leak. Any plant will take the maximum advantage of any extra water and nutrients that it can locate. A sewer line leak is a source of liquid fertilizer and the plants in that area will feed on it to grow. It’s not unusual for larger plants or trees to grow roots towards this food source to exploit tiny fissures that may have appeared in the sewer line. Once these roots reach the line, they may even force themselves into these gaps to get more fertilizer, and this could break the line entirely.

  1. Mold and Bacteria Growth

If you have a sewer line leak, you may start to notice mold growth and an associated increase in bacteria in your home. At first, black spots may appear, this mold is naturally occurring, and it will feed on the high sugar content found in your wastewater. It may first appear around drains in sinks, tubs and shower stalls and this mold is toxic. Cleaning the mold with white vinegar will remove it, but the underlying problem will remain. Contact a local certified plumber; they can track down the root cause and fix the problem for you so that it doesn’t return later.

  1. Cracked Concrete

When the main sewer line leaks the wastewater that’s released has to go somewhere. The pressure that’s created by the water can damage exterior concrete structures, such as pools, porches and even your building foundations. If you notice the appearance of a crack in these concrete surfaces, this may indicate that you have a main sewer leak problem. If you can see cracks, this typically means that the leak has been around for some time and it’s a good idea to get it fixed by a professional plumber to avoid further damage.

By Giovanni Longo President Flood Brothers Plumbing
Giovanni Longo is a 3rd generation master plumber who has been practicing his craft and trade in the greater Los Angeles area for well over a decade and a half. A plumbing and hydraulics-engineering innovator, Giovanni’s particular world-class expertise focuses on dealing with challenging sewer system designs as well as resolving complex commercial and residential draining issues. As a certified Flood Mitigation expert, he is also well versed in a wide variety of water damage and remediation solution.