I'm installing a paver patio in my backyard and have a sewer backflow pipe in the middle of the area where the patio is going. What options do I have for lowering or covering the pipe so that it is not a tripping hazard? I was thinking I could cut the pipe low enough so that it is flush with the completed pavers but I don't know what the final height of the patio will be. Can I cut it after the patio is installed? Or can I just turn it into a drain? Any help is much appreciated. Thanks.

  • 3
    "Backflow pipe" is not a term that I'm familiar with . "Clean-out access" would be typical for "sewer things in a patio", as would "storm drain grate" for the other kind of sewer - what purpose does this serve? Can you edit to add a picture?
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 20:43
  • Would not want a backflow pipe in my patio when the sewer backflows, especially when having a bar-b-que.
    – crip659
    Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 21:21
  • You need to define and characterize "backflow pipe" better.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 18, 2022 at 21:45
  • Perhaps install a fountain over the backflow pipe?
    – Willk
    Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 1:36

1 Answer 1


Assuming it is a sewer clean out (which we suspect)- first off you cannot turn it into a drain. There is no P-trap to block the sewer odors from coming straight out from there (and destroying any enjoyable time on your new patio).

You can cut it off later, but I suggest cutting it to proper height (so it fits flush with the new pavers) as you are laying the pavers. If you have exact heights already established, with proper drainage for your patio, and can pull strings to set your clean out height then it would be safe to cut the pipe now. Also, depending on the type of pipe you have there, you might be able to find an insert clean out fitting that would go into the pipe (rather than like a typical fitting which goes over the pipe) then you could do the whole paver job and then cut the pipe flush and finish with your insert clean out fitting.

  • To be explicitly clear: The clean out needs to remain accessible. Without it, it will be much more difficult (if not impossible) to clear a clog from this main drain line to the city sewer line. That means that there will be a clean out line plug in the middle of the patio pavers. That does not mean that there has to be a "PVC-pipe white" circle in the middle of the patio. The clean-out plug can be painted to match. It will probably have to be painted every year or two to keep it looking decent, but that's another question.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 12:21
  • Better option is to put a "valve box" type access cover OVER the end of the pipe, with the cover of the valve box flush with the patio (use a quartzite-type concrete box for a paver patio - it will fit in, but still be "obviously an access cover" rather than "pull up the 3rd paver from the left in the 7th row from the house" which is hidden, and NOT acceptable. No need to paint...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Apr 19, 2022 at 15:56

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