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Cracks and Fractures in Sewer Lines

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Cracks and Fractures in Sewer Lines

Cracks and fractures in your sewer lines affect the structural integrity of your pipelines. They also allow the infiltration of clean groundwater into your wastewater system.

Cracks and fractures inside sewer pipes may have a variety of different causes, including:

  • Poor original installation
  • Poor soil bedding
  • Root penetration
  • Deterioration due to the age of the pipe

Once a crack in a pipe becomes large enough to expose soil to the system, it is considered a hole and requires immediate open trench or trenchless sewer repair depending on your situation.

There are three levels of fracture that may occur in a sewer line:

Minor Crack / Fracture

While a minor fracture in a pipe will not have any severe effect in the function of your sewer line, they do have the opportunity and inclination to become bigger and more of a nuisance over time. It’s recommended that you get pipes with minor fractures re-inspected three to five years after the initial inspection to determine whether the severity is increasing.

Moderate Crack / Fracture

A moderate crack or fracture could very well affect the working condition of your sewer lines. If you have moderate cracks in your pipes, they are more than likely increasing in severity over time. Cracks that have root intrusions or exposed aggregate in concrete pipes are considered moderate, or even severe. Pipes with moderate cracks should be inspected every one or two years. If they appear to be increasing in severity, it is recommended that you have them inspected more often than that. If you are a property owner and are experiencing moderate to severe cracking in your side sewers, you should begin budgeting and planning for repairs.

Severe Crack / Fracture

If a crack or fracture is considered severe, that means that it is either in its full effect of compromising your sewer lines or your lines are already on their way to collapsing and causing a full-on structural failure of the pipe. Severe cracks and fractures should be repaired immediately upon becoming aware of them.


If you suspect that you may have cracks or fractures in your sewer lines, no matter what the severity, feel free to give us a call at (253) 331-1206 to request an appointment and we will send one of our skilled technicians out with a camera to scope your pipes. We are experts in assessing and remedying sewer line issues and are happy to serve you!