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Yuck! Sewage Odors: Could I Have A Sewer Leak?

Water Drain

We know that your sewer line is the last part of your home that you want to run into trouble with. And when you notice smells in your yard, in your drains, or anywhere else around the home, you suddenly must face the fact that your drains and your sewer line could be at fault.

How to Tell if Your Sewer Has a Leak

In today’s guide, we hope to ease your mind a bit. But if there are signs of a serious problem, it’s time to call in professional plumbers ASAP. Plumbers have the tools and equipment to take care of your potential drain and sewer problems the right way, as we describe below. However, there may be a simple fix.


You walk into your kitchen or bathroom after a long trip away, and you notice an unusual odor. That’s unusual, you think because you feel certain you’d taken out the garbage before your trip. Upon closer examination, you may find that odor is coming from the drains.

Don’t worry! This is a common ordeal that is usually nothing to worry about at all. Underneath the sink, there is a U-shaped pipe, or a sideways P (known as the P-trap). The design of a P-trap is meant to keep odors out of the sewer lines by forming a barrier of water, enough that you cannot smell sewer gas (like you would if the pipe went straight up and down).

Often, all you have to do is fill it up with a bit of water, and the sink will be back to normal soon enough!


Subtle smells from the drain may be fairly easy to get rid of. You can try the following steps to easily clean out the gunk that may form that odor.

  1. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda into the disposal.
  2. Add vinegar shortly after, about a cup to form a reaction with the baking soda.
  3. Wait 5-10 minutes, and add boiling water to clear it all out.
  4. You might try a small piece of lemon in the disposal, but make sure it is small and easy enough for the garbage


Unfortunately, smells that are not so easily resolved can indicate a much more serious issue. If you notice odors coming from the yard, especially if there is unexplained moisture or clogs and backup from your drains, it’s time to call in a plumber ASAP.

Keep in mind that the sewer lines underneath your property are your responsibility—not the cities. Thankfully, many plumbers offer 24/7 emergency services, for when health hazards from sewage leaks put your family at risk. Try not to use any fixtures until plumbers arrive.

The right plumbers have video pipe inspection equipment to quickly identify a problem and put you on the path to a cleaner, safer home. You may have a rupture in the sewer or drain lines, or there could be tree roots infiltrating the pipes.

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