The main sewer line of your property is the conduit for all water waste to the city sewage system. Unfortunately, this main plumbing line is entirely hidden, going from the foundation of your property through your yard and out to the city street. Since this drain is covered, it is difficult to know when something is wrong or when the line has failed. Therefore, it is beneficial to know and understand the warning signs of a sewer line leak or damage.


A plumber starts digging a trench to access a front yard sewer line leak.

Changes in landscaping

One of the most apparent signs of sewer line damage is changes to your landscaping. These changes may include unusual growth rates in your grass, or the change may be more drastic with the sudden appearance of divots or dips. Although, if left unchecked, then the bacteria in wastewater could ruin your yard and gardens.

Emanating odors

As sewer lines carry waste and sewage, it is not uncommon to have odors emanating from the areas where the break or leak has occurred. The stench might not be overbearing outside, but it will probably be present, especially if the break is severe enough. However, if you cannot smell anything outside, it is possible you will smell something around the drains inside your home.

Appearance of foundation cracks

If your home suffers a massive sewer line collapse, then the excess wastewater that is sent into the surrounding area will cause displacement of the soil. Unfortunately, when this happens, it is possible that cracks will appear in the foundation of your home, providing a significant warning that something is not right. Cracks may also appear suddenly in concrete installations, such as patios or driveways.

Spikes in the water bill

If you are lucky enough that a damaged line has not led to significant property damage, then you can look to your water bill as an indicator of a leak or damage. If you have noticed a sudden spike in your water usage, then you likely have an unmitigated leak, which you will need to resolve quickly to reduce the chances of worse damage.

Spongy or moist flooring

Sewer lines are not only outside; they snake through the walls and floors in your property. If you have noticed warping floorboards or unusual water staining, then you likely have a sewer leak. Also, if you notice that floors seem spongy or discolored, then you will want to have a company out to inspect and assess your property.

Strange noises

Another thing you are likely to notice more indoors than out are strange noises. Most sounds related to a sewer line break or leak will be running, trickling, or dripping water.

Congregating rats

Last, if you notice a sudden influx in the rodent population around your home, then you better contact a plumbing service to check your lines. Rats have a better sense of smell than people, and they are attracted to sewer line odors.

If you notice any of these signs of sewer line leak, then you may have a severe problem. Contact AxsomAir for an inspection and potential repair of any damage.