5 Signs of a Sewage Leak

sewage leak

When you trip a circuit breaker or your heating system fails, you can tell. Plumbing, however, isn’t as easy to read. Because your sewage system is underground, it’s not always obvious when there’s a problem. Here, our plumbing experts share five signs to look for that may indicate a sewage leak:


One of the most telltale signs of a sewage leak is an unpleasant odor. If your have sewer issues, you may notice the actual smell of sewage. This is usually found in the basement, but can also be present outside. Also pay attention to smells coming from walls. These are usually due to mold or mildew, which grows in the presence of moisture from leaky pipes.


Whether it’s pools of standing water, drips, or simply excess dampness, pests love wetness. If you’ve noticed an increase in things like cockroaches, centipedes, flies, silverfish, or other moisture-loving insects in your home, it could mean a sewage leak. If the leak is significant, you may even notice a presence of rodents (like mice or rats) that often travel through sewage lines and are attracted to sewage odors.

Damp Floors

Sewage pipes are designed to twist and turn throughout your home. This means if there’s a leak, it could moisten the floors virtually anywhere. If you notice sponginess or dampness in your floors, don’t simply soak it up with a towel. It could not only be a sign of a sewage leak, but the moisture could also lead to mold or mildew.

Lawn Patches/Indentations

Your sewage system is located beneath the ground, so it’s important to look at your lawn for signs of a leak. A sewage leak will provide fertilizer to the area (due to the fecal matter). This could cause the grass to be greener. In addition, a leak will also provide your lawn with an abundance of moisture. This moisture can soak the soil and cause it to shift, often leaving your lawn with indentations. Look for lush grass patches and lawn indentations – this could lead you to an issue.

High Water Costs

One of the easiest ways to tell you have a sewage issue is by looking at your water bill. While water costs tend to fluctuate, a significant difference could be a sign. If you’ve noticed a recent spike in your water usage and a higher water bill, you’re likely paying for a leak.

If these signs sound familiar and you believe you may have a sewage leak, don’t hesitate to call a professional. At Oliver, we can inspect your plumbing system and determine whether you have an issue. Contact us today to set up an appointment.

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