5 Telling Signs of a Collapsed Public Sewer Line

signs of a collapsed sewer line

Public sewer pipelines have the capability to cause major damage if they reach the point of collapse. There are a few different signs of a collapsed sewer line that you should be aware of to know when a repair is needed. Read on to learn a bit more about these signs and what dangers they may indicate.

When is the City Responsible for a Collapsed Sewer Line?

The sewer system under a city is a complex set of pipe-filled tunnels that carries sewage waste from buildings or homes to a waste facility. Typically, there is a main sewer pipeline that runs through the city that the smaller, residential pipelines connect to. In the situation of a collapsed sewer pipe, the city is responsible for repairing the main pipeline. If you suspect there is damage to a city pipeline, schedule an appointment with a sewer repair company.

The Dangers of a Collapsed Sewer Line

There are a few dangers to be aware of when it comes to damaged sewer lines. A collapsed sewer line is one of the main consequences of an untreated sewage line break. The collapse can cause a significant amount of damage to the sewer system and surrounding land. Repairing a collapsed sewer line is a costly expense that can affect the public spaces and leak into residential areas. We’ll discuss the signs of a collapsed sewer line below.

While a collapsed sewer line is a major problem of an untreated broken sewer system, there are other dangers to be aware of as well. Overflows and flooding can be another common issue that arises from a broken sewer line. The key danger with these puddles is the extensive impact that they can have on the ecological system that they are affecting. Sewage flooding and overflows can bring hazardous bacteria and pollution into natural environments that can infect water and foster disease.

Lastly, above-ground structures are at risk when a sewage pipe is not functioning properly. Sewage backups can lead to foundation cracks, mold, and general damage to the walls, ceilings, and floors of public buildings.

Signs of a Collapsed Sewer Line

With many sewer lines, there is a point of no return that can require an entire pipe replacement as opposed to repair. The best way to prevent collapsed lines is routine maintenance and repair, or else the following 5 signs may present themselves in a failing sewer line.

Sewer Blockages

One of the signs of a collapsed sewer line is noticeable sewer blockages. These may be seen in public buildings, such as the bathroom on the main floor of an office building. Backups and blockages caused by a collapsed sewer pipe tend to affect all drains that connect to the pipe. If a report is made about only one sink or toilet draining slowly in a public building, it may be an issue with the drain itself and not the pipe. It may be a main sewer line issue if the problem is building-wide.

Foundation Changes

Collapsed sewer lines can cause major damage to your buildings. Foundation cracks and settlements are common signs of a collapsed sewer line. In extreme cases, sinkholes may even occur around the damaged area. In this situation, you’ll want to watch out for severe and sudden changes to building foundations. Quickly repairing your city’s main sewer line is a crucial step in avoiding further damage and high-cost repairs for buildings’ foundations. Consider also hiring a foundation repair specialist for the affected buildings to fix the damage once the collapsed sewer pipe is repaired.

Sewer Odor

Having your public spaces reek of sewer odor is an unpleasant experience. However, it serves as a clear indicator that there is a damaged or collapsed sewer pipe nearby. Sewer pipelines are built to be air-tight to contain both the smell and waste. Once that odor begins to appear, it means that somewhere along the way, the pipe is no longer able to hold in the contents that move through its system.

Lawn Growth

While having luscious green grass around your city doesn’t seem like a major problem, it can be an indication that there is a collapsed sewer pipe nearby. With this sign of a collapsed sewer pipe, you’ll likely notice odd patches of grass growth throughout the city. Sewage can be used as a form of fertilizer, explaining the sudden growth of grass when there is a leak or some form of damage to your pipeline. If you notice the growth in one specific area, you’ll want to hire a sewer specialist to investigate the area.

Sewage Puddles

The last sign of a collapsed sewer line to be aware of is sewage puddles or pools around the damaged area. When a pipe is not functioning properly, it can lead to a buildup of sewage waste that begins to pool wherever it leaks out. These puddles can be incredibly hazardous to the surrounding ecosystem and foster disease, so be cautious when dealing with this issue.

Prevent Collapsed Sewer Lines with SEKISUI SPR

SEKISUI SPR specializes in trenchless pipe rehabilitation for sewers. With our advanced technology, we’re able to restore your pipeline system with state-of-the-art materials so you can be assured your pipeline is secure. Over the last two decades, we’ve used our knowledge and expertise to repair sewer pipeline systems in cities like San Diego. We recommend regularly scheduled maintenance on your pipelines to avoid the risk of damage or collapses altogether, and we can help with that. Contact us today to find out how we can safely and effectively repair and maintain your public sewer system.

You are currently viewing 5 Telling Signs of a Collapsed Public Sewer Line