The smell of sewage can be extremely unpleasant, and doubly so when it occurs within your home. However, beyond simply being an unpleasant smell to experience, the smell of sewage within your home can point to a number of plumbing issues that you may be experiencing. Understanding some of the most common reasons why your bathroom may smell like sewage can help you identify the problem and the way to fix it quicker.
The most common and also the most pressing reason why your bathroom may smell like sewage is because of actual plumbing damage. For systems on a septic tank, the smell of sewage can point to a septic tank overflow, which is forcing sewage and waste back up your plumbing. You may even find actual sewage oozing out of the drains in your home.
For homes that are connected to the municipal sewer system, the issue may instead lay with a blockage within your home's sewage drain (if the smell is coming out of multiple drains) or a blockage only within a certain pipe (if it's only affecting a single drain or room). For single drain issues, you may be able to eliminate the blockage with a drain snake or plunger. For sewage drain or septic tank issues, a professional plumber will have to either empty your septic tank or unclog your sewage drain out for you with specialized equipment.
Another common reason why your drains smell like sewage, particularly sinks, is if the P-trap under the drain has had the opportunity to empty. This happens as the water evaporates over time due to a lack of use with that drain: this allows sewage gases to seep back up through your plumbing. Fortunately, this is fairly easy to fix. Just run the water for a few minutes to refill the P-trap—if the drain doesn't properly drain, then you know that the issue is a blockage instead.
Finally, the last reason why your bathroom may smell strongly of sewage is if the connections between your pipes have become loose. The risk of this occurring increases with time, as age and general wear breaks down the connection between your pipes. The smell of sewage is likely the first sign of age that your pipes will exhibit, and can develop into a leak or breakage down the line—so you may want to contact companies like All Clear Pumping & Sewer about inspecting and replacing your home's plumbing.