I recently had some tree service done to my yard by a contractor, which required them to drive heavy machinery through the lawn. It was pointed out to me that they drove over and damaged an external "vent" pipe (that's the best I can describe it) that was sticking out of the ground. They claimed they would be back to fix it, but I'm not holding my breath that they'll return.

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It was connecting down into the ground, but now it's cracked and can be completely removed. When removed, I can see additional sewage pipe work coming from my house and going down into the stinky abyss.

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So my questions are:

  1. What is this thing?
  2. Obviously I want to get this fixed ASAP, but how urgently does this need to be fixed? Like if I don't do something could I end up with a diarrhea river flowing through my yard or in my house? I can definitely smell raw sewage when I stick my face down into the hole
  3. If the contractors never return, is this something that can easily be fixed by 1 person, DIY style, or will another contractor be needed (and obviously filing an insurance claim).

1 Answer 1


This looks like a sewer "cleanout". This would connect about 4 ft below ground to your sewer line from your house to the city sewer. If you are lucky it is only the top that is damaged, but it could be the thrust damaged it at the bottom. In the latter case you will have a more involved repair.

You could carefully dig out around it, remove the damaged part and look in using a flashlight. Probably you should get a plumber to send TV camera down and get a good look.

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