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How to Clean Sewage Backup from Outside the Yard: A DIY Guide

Part 1: Preparing for the Sewage Cleaning

Step 1: Clear the Sewer Drain

If there’s a sewage backup in your yard, it likely results from a sewer drain clog or blockage. To remedy this, contact a reputable drain contractor. They can professionally unclog the sewer drain and perform an in-depth assessment using a camera line to check for any signs of drain breakage or root intrusions. Wait for confirmation that your drain is in good working condition before proceeding to the cleaning stage.

Part 2: Assembling Your Sewage Cleaning Tools and Sanitization Products

Before you start the cleaning process, gather all the necessary tools and products. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:


  1. Protective gear: Waterproof gloves, goggles, rubber boots, and a face mask for safety.
  2. Garden hose with a spray nozzle.
  3. Shovels: To scoop and remove solid yard debris.
  4. Pails with airtight lids: To dispose of the solid debris.

Sewage Sanitization Products:

  1. Household bleach: A powerful disinfectant.
  2. Pressure washer detergent: For deep-cleaning.
  3. Outdoor sanitizer: To sanitize outdoor surfaces.

Part 3: Cleaning and Sanitizing Your Yard

Step 1: Safety First

Start by wearing your protective gear. Sewage contains harmful bacteria that can cause serious health problems, so it’s crucial to protect yourself.

Step 2: Pre-Cleaning Sanitization

Before removing the solid debris and watering down the sewage, apply an outdoor sanitizer. This helps to reduce the amount of bacteria present and makes the cleaning process safer and more efficient.

Step 3: Remove Solid Debris

After pre-cleaning sanitization, use your shovel to remove any solid yard debris, such as soil, rocks, or leaves mixed in with the sewage. Be careful not to push this debris back into the drain, as it can cause another clog. Dispose of this debris in construction-grade garbage bags or pails. Secure the lids once the pails are filled to prevent any leakage or foul odor. You can find pails in your local hardware store.

Step 4: Flush the Sewage

After the plumber has confirmed the drain is working properly, use your garden hose to flush the sewage back into the same drain that caused the backup. This is only advised if the plumber has confirmed that the drain is functioning correctly. Continue flushing for about 5 minutes to ensure the sewage is cleared out and there is a proper flow in the sewer line.

Step 5: Cleaning

After the bulk of the sewage has been flushed away, it’s time to deep-clean the area. If you have a pressure washer, mix the detergent and antibacterial agents according to the manufacturer’s instructions and thoroughly clean the area. If you don’t have a pressure washer, a garden hose with a spray nozzle can be used but may require more effort.

Step 6: Post-Cleaning Sanitization

Once the area is clean, sanitize it one more time using the outdoor sanitizer. This will help to kill any remaining bacteria and make your yard safe for use again.

Step 7: Disposal

Dispose of the debris-filled pails properly. Check with your local waste management facility about their guidelines for sewage-contaminated waste disposal.

Part 4: Sewage Backup Prevention

After your yard is clean, you should take a proactive approach to prevent future sewage backups. Here are a few recommendations:

Step 1: Regular Drain Inspection

Maintaining a schedule of regular drain inspections with your plumber is one of the best ways to prevent a sewage backup. They can detect early signs of blockages, roots, or pipe damage that might cause serious problems down the line.

Step 2: Install a Backwater Valve

If your home doesn’t have a backwater valve, consider installing one. A backwater valve allows sewage to go out but not come back in. It’s a useful addition that could prevent a future disaster.

Step 3: Maintain your Sewer Lateral

The sewer lateral (the pipeline between the city’s main sewer line and your home) is usually the homeowner’s responsibility. Regular maintenance of this line is important to avoid backups.

Step 4: Properly Dispose of Grease and Solid Waste

Grease, oils, and solid waste can clog your sewer line over time. Instead of flushing them down the drain, dispose of them in the trash.

Step 5: Install a Sewer Alarm

A sewer alarm can provide an early warning in the event of a sewer backup. While it can’t prevent a backup, it can help minimize the damage by alerting you as soon as the system begins to back up.

Remember, if this process seems too overwhelming or dangerous, there’s no shame in hiring a professional water damage restoration service specializing in sewage cleaning. They have the expertise and equipment to