A collapsed sewer pipe can be the result of poorly maintained sewer lines, a change in the ground around that pipe or also external forces such as tree roots getting into those pipes.

But here in Georgia, one of the most common reasons we see for sewer pipe collapsing is that tree roots have invaded the pipe.

The tips of tree roots can naturally detect the slightest differences in the level of moisture nearby so they are naturally attracted to the warm water flow that is in sewer pipes in your yard. They will then grow in the direction of that water source and begin the process of searching for a way in to the pipe.

If there is a crack or loose joint anywhere in the pipe, the tree roots will find it and make their way in.

What Are The Signs Of A Broken Sewer Pipe?

There are multiple signs that tell you that something is broken somewhere along your sewer pipes...

  • Gurgling sounds from your drains or toilets.
  • Water backing up out of drains or toilets.
  • Water pooling around drains or toilets.
  • Smell of raw sewage coming from your drains.
  • Foul sewer gas odor
  • Detection of a mold problem
  • Your drains are running slow
  • Patches of very lush grass in your lawn
  • Cracks in your foundation

Any one of these should be a warning sign to you that there are problems with your sewer pipes and it's time to call in a plumber to get the problem(s) fixed. The longer you wait to get things fixed, the more damage could occur which may end up costing you more than if you fixed it right away.

How Do You Fix A Sagging Sewer Line?

If your sewer line is sagging, the problem is usually that there has been a shift or change in the ground surrounding the pipe. Where there once was some ground support for that pipe to rest on - that is no longer there for whatever reason.

There are basically two methods that we use to fix sagging or collapsed sewer lines.

1. Dig the area and fix the affected area. (The traditional method)
2. Trenchless method where little to no digging is required. (A newer method)

Both methods initially require a camera inspection to identify exactly where the trouble spot(s) are.

The Traditional Method Of Digging and Repairing

In this method, as you can imagine, we would dig up the area(s) where the pipe is broken and go through the process of fixing it. Either repairing the pipe itself, the ground around it or replacing and/or moving the pipe section entirely.

Obviously, this creates a bit of a "mess" in your yard and it will require the additional cost of getting that patch of area back to normal.

The Newer Method - Trenchless Sewer Repair

This method minimizes and can sometimes completely skip over the entire process of digging up your yard - which can be a great cost savings to you.

Trenchless pipe repair is basically the process of replacing a broken pipe in the ground with a new pipe without having to dig up the old one or break through any concrete or other construction that the pipe may be laying under. This is a great time and money saver for the property owner. Not only does the yard or floor NOT have to be destroyed (and later repaired) but the amount of time it takes to make the repair on the pipe is greatly reduced. It's a win-win!

You can read more about the trenchless sewer repair here.

Your plumber will be able to decide which method can be used for your specific problem and property.

If you have any questions about sewer pipes or are having some problems with yours, call Atlantis Plumbing today at 770-443-8229. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.