Leaving your house and discovering that there's standing sewage in your front yard can be utterly alarming. Unfortunately, this is a problem that many homeowners find themselves dealing with. If you've got stinky sewage in your yard and don't have a septic tank, read this guide to learn what could be causing it and what you should do about it.
From the Ground
Your first step will need to be determining where the sewage comes from. If it seems to be pooling in the yard and coming up from beneath the dirt, keep reading. If it's visibly coming out of your sewer clean-out, skip to the next step.
Sewage will only come up from the ground if you have a major problem with your sewer line pipe. You may have a crack in the pipe, or it could be completely broken. In any case, when you flush the toilet or otherwise use the plumbing in your home, some or all of the waste isn't making it to the sewer, and is instead saturating your yard.
From the Sewer Clean-Out
If the sewage is coming from your sewer clean-out, then you have a clog in your sewer line. The sewer clean-out isn't intended to have sewage come out of it; it's primarily intended to prevent sewer gases from coming out of the pipe and into the air near your home. However, if you're trying to send water or waste material down the sewer pipe and there's a clog, there is nowhere else for it to go. The pressure will force it to come out of the nearest exit, which in this case is the sewer clean-out.
If you have a sewer clean-out with a lid, don't try to put the lid back on to prevent sewage from coming out. The pressure will simply push the lid back off, and if it can't, it could potentially rupture your sewer line instead.
What To Do
Whether you have a blockage or a broken pipe, you'll need to call a plumber. Plumbers can easily fix blockages by reaming them out with a sewer line snake. If you have a break in the pipe, a more serious fix will be necessary. Your plumber may need to dig a hole down to the pipe to access it and then replace it with a new pipe.
Sewage should never be in your yard, so if you notice this problem you should contact a service such as Cleary Plumbing right away for help. Sewage poses a health hazard, so don't delay getting assistance.