Sewage backups are a common occurrence in Nampa, ID, and the surrounding areas. There is no way to predict when they will happen, but there are some signs that you can look for. Sewer backup is the flow of sewage or wastewater from a building’s drain system or plumbing into nearby buildings or streets due to blockages such as tree roots intrusion, corrosion of cast iron pipes, and wear and tear on pipe joints. If you notice any of these signs, it could be time to schedule an appointment with your plumber.

1. A Sewage Smell in Your Home

This is the most common sign of a sewer backup. If you notice an unusual smell, especially in your bathrooms or basement, it could signify something wrong with your drainage system.

The smell may be especially noticeable right after you do laundry, take a shower, or flush the toilet. However, if sewage has entered your home’s drainage system beyond your home’s internal trap (the first section of pipe that is closest to the source), it will likely permeate into other areas as well. This means that the smell may not be confined to just your bathrooms or basement.

If you only notice a faint sewage smell, it could still mean a backup happening somewhere in your drainage system. Try checking all of your drains for any liquid or solid backups, and contact a plumber if you find anything.

2. Wet Spots on the Floor

If you notice any wet spots on your floors, there may be a sewer backup happening. The wet spots may be concentrated in certain areas, or they may spread out as the backup progresses.

The best way to determine if the water is from a sewage backup and not just from a plumbing leak is to check the water’s color. If it’s black or a deep brown, then it’s likely from sewage. However, if the water is just cloudy or murky, it could be from a plumbing leak. If you are unsure whether or not the wet spots on your floor are from sewage backup, contact a plumber for help.

In addition, if you see water pooling near your home’s foundation, it could be a sign of a more serious drainage issue. This generally means that the sewer line is clogged and is not able to properly drain wastewater away from your property.

3. Soggy Ground Near Your Home’s Foundation

If you see any soggy or wet ground around your home’s foundation, this could possibly indicate a drainage issue. This is generally caused by a sewer line that is clogged and one that isn’t able to drain wastewater away from your property properly.

If you see this, it’s best to call a plumber immediately. Suppose the wet ground is near your home’s foundation. In that case, there are likely structural issues at play that need immediate attention before they worsen and cause more serious damage to your property.

4. Low Spots on Your Lawn

If you notice any low or sunken areas on the ground around your home, there may be a sewer line clog that is preventing wastewater from draining properly away from your property. It may also indicate some other drainage issues if this problem only occurs in certain parts of your yard and not others.

If you see low spots on your lawn, call a plumber immediately to investigate the issue. The sunken ground can often be an early warning sign of more serious drainage problems that could cause extensive damage if not addressed quickly.

In addition, you should also look at the areas of your yard that are not affected to get an idea of which direction the water is moving. If this low spot in your lawn only occurs at one end, it could be due to wastewater backup. If it appears on both sides or throughout different parts of your property, then there may be a larger issue with your drainage system.

5. Condensation on Your Windows

If you notice condensation building up around your home’s windows, it could be an indication of a drainage problem in or near your property. This is generally caused by wastewater backup and not just from normal water usage like showers, laundry, or dishwashing because the drywall does not absorb any moisture. Condensation forms when warm, moist air comes in contact with a cooler surface.

If you notice condensation near your windows, check for wet spots on the ground or water pooling around your foundation to see if there are any visible signs of flooding that have not yet permeated into other areas. If so, then it may be due to sewage backup causing wastewater to overflow. If you are unsure, contact a plumber for help.

In addition, if your home has an unfinished basement, this could be another place where condensation forms as a result of drainage problems. The moisture in the air will settle on any cold surfaces in the basement, which can often lead to mold and mildew growth.

6. Spiders or Insects Near Your Home

If you start seeing more spiders or other insects around your property, it could be a sign that there is an issue with drainage. This is because the extra moisture in the air created by the drainage problem will attract these pests as they look for a place to live and breed.

In addition to these pests, you should also look for any nests or webs that are being built near your property. This often indicates increased insect activity, which can be caused by an excess amount of moisture in the air due to a drainage problem.

7. Tree Roots Growing in Your Foundation

Tree roots encroaching on the exterior of your home is another sign that there might be a drainage problem causing excess moisture to settle around your property. If you notice any tree roots growing near or into cracks in your foundation, it could mean that wastewater has accumulated nearby and the tree roots are trying to access the water underneath.

In addition, you should also look for tree limbs or other debris accumulating around your foundation because this could allow pests to enter your home and cause damage that would be very difficult to repair.

8. Toilets Flushing Slowly

If your toilets flush slowly or easily become backed up, it could mean drainage issues. This is because the extra moisture in the air created by the drainage problem will often cause clogs and backups in your plumbing system.

If you are having this issue, contact a plumber to inspect your plumbing and see if there is an issue that needs to be addressed. Often, a drainage problem can be the root of these common plumbing problems.

In addition, you should also keep an eye on your water bills to see if they’re going up unexpectedly. This could mean that you have a drainage problem causing excess moisture in your home.


If you’re seeing any of these signs, it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible. Sewage backup can cause extensive damage to your property if left untreated and can also lead to serious health hazards.

To learn more about the signs of sewage backup in Nampa and the surrounding areas, please contact us at Express Septic & Drain Cleaning today. We provide maintenance, enzyme treatment, drain field services, and septic pumping services.

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