Why Is Toilet Paper Coming Out Of Outside Drain? (Fixed!)

Seeing toilet paper coming out of outside drain is not only an unexpected sight but also puzzling and even concerning. This unsightly phenomenon raises questions about your plumbing system’s functionality, including the cause of this issue.

Toilet paper coming out of the outside drain is caused by sewer line blockage, septic tank issues, improper flushing, a localized clog, inadequate ventilation, and pipe damage. This issue can cause environmental contamination and property damage and pose health risks.

Therefore, this post explores why toilet paper appears in outside drains, the possible consequences, and what steps can be taken to address and prevent this issue.

Outside drain overflowing

Toilet Paper Coming Out Of Outside Drain (6 Reasons!)

Toilet paper coming out of an outside drain is unusual and typically indicates an issue within your plumbing system.

Below are the potential reasons for this problem:

1. Blockage in the Sewer Line

One of the primary reasons for toilet paper appearing in outside drains is a blockage in the sewer line. Over time, various materials such as grease, hair, soap scum, and even non-flushable items can accumulate and create obstructions in the sewer pipes.

As these materials, including toilet paper, accumulate, they can cause a blockage which in turn can cause pressure to build up within the sewer line. This pressure seeks a path of least resistance, which could sometimes be an outside drain.

2. Tree Root Infiltration

Tree roots notoriously infiltrate sewer pipes to find nutrients and water. Once inside the pipes, tree roots can grow and expand, causing damage and blockages.

As roots grow and spread inside pipes, they can trap debris, grease, and other materials, creating a blockage that restricts the flow of wastewater. This can lead to slow drainage and backups in your plumbing system and even the appearance of toilet paper in outside drains.

3. Inadequate Plumbing Ventilation

Plumbing vents provide a way for air to enter the plumbing system, allowing wastewater to flow smoothly. Without proper ventilation, negative pressure can develop within the pipes, impeding the flow of water and causing slow drainage.

This negative pressure can push toilet paper out of the system and into the open. Inadequate ventilation also contributes to sewer line blockages and backups, as air pressure imbalances can cause waste to accumulate and create clogs.

4. Septic System Problems

Your septic tank can become overloaded if you use excessive water or flush non-biodegradable items (like wipes, sanitary products, or chemicals) down the toilet. This reduces treatment time and increases the risk of solids entering the drainfield, causing clogs.

If the septic tank is full or the drain field is clogged, wastewater can back up and force toilet paper and other materials to emerge from outside drains.

5. Pipe Damage or Corrosion

Damaged or corroded pipes can create irregularities in the flow of wastewater, causing backups and blockages. If the pipes are restricted or broken, it can lead to toilet paper and other materials being pushed out through drains.

6. Localized Clog

Sometimes, a clog might be specific to a particular drain. If the toilet paper is coming out of a specific outside drain, a clog could be closer to that drain, causing the issue.

Sewage coming out of outside drain

The Impacts Of Toilet Paper Coming Out Of The Outside Drain

The impacts of toilet paper coming out of the outside drain range from minor inconveniences to more serious health and environmental concerns.

a. Unpleasant Odors

Sewage toilet paper coming out of an outside drain isn’t going to smell pleasant. The unpleasant odors can make outdoor activities less enjoyable and even impact indoor air quality if the odors find their way into homes.

Moreover, these pungent odors can negatively impact property values. The issue could also strain your relationship with your neighbors and lead to disputes if it affects multiple properties.

b. Aesthetic Issues

Nobody wants to see sewage because the sight is visually unappealing and can detract from the overall appearance of the property. Therefore, toilet paper coming out of an outside drain can make your property look unkempt and negatively affect its curb appeal and property value.

This issue goes beyond just your home, as it can have a cascading effect on the neighborhood’s aesthetics. Surrounding properties might also be negatively impacted, especially if the issue is not promptly addressed.

c. Health Hazards

Sewage contains a variety of harmful microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause diseases if they come into contact with humans or animals. Health problems that sewage can cause include gastrointestinal infections, skin and eye infections, respiratory issues, vector-borne diseases, zoonotic diseases, and waterborne diseases.

d. Environmental Pollution

Sewage materials, including toilet paper, can introduce pollutants, pathogens, and nutrients into water bodies. This can lead to contamination of surface water, groundwater, and aquatic ecosystems.

Also, nutrients present in sewage, like phosphorus and nitrogen, contribute to eutrophication. This process causes excessive plant growth in water bodies, leading to oxygen depletion, fish kills, and imbalances in aquatic ecosystems.

e. Property Damage

Backups and overflows caused by blockages from toilet paper can damage your property’s foundations, walls, floors, and belongings. Water intrusion can weaken structures and lead to mold growth.

f. Legal and Regulatory Issues

Many jurisdictions have environmental regulations governing the proper disposal of sewage and wastewater. Therefore, you may incur legal and regulatory issues if toilet paper comes out of an outside drain, particularly if it causes environmental pollution, health hazards, or violates local ordinances.

You could face legal repercussions or fines if you fail to fix the issue promptly.

g. Long-Term Infrastructure Damage

If toilet paper coming out of your outside drain becomes a common occurrence, it can lead to chronic blockages and backups. Consequently, this can lead to more severe damage to the plumbing and drainage systems over time, potentially requiring extensive repairs or replacements.

How to Fix Toilet Paper Coming Out Of An Outside Drain

Taking the consequences of this issue, you must promptly address this problem before it escalates. Here are the steps to take:

1) Assess the Situation

Start by assessing the extent of the problem. Find out whether the issue is isolated to a single drain or affects multiple drains in your home by examining the other drains to see if they have the same problem or working properly.

Additionally, look closer at the outside drain where you’ve noticed the toilet paper emerging. Observe the amount of toilet paper, the frequency of its appearance, and whether any wastewater is also coming out.

2) Clean The Area

Clear out any debris around the drain to protect anything else from being contaminated by the wastewater.

3) Open the Drain Lid

Before trying to unclog the drain, open its lid and keep it upright, making sure it doesn’t keep falling. Doing so will make working easier.

If necessary, support the lid with something to keep it upright.

4) Use a Plunger

If the blockage is minor, you might be able to dislodge it using a plunger. Before plunging your drain, cover it with a cup to ensure you generate sufficient suction.

Also, push the plunger back and forth with both hands to create a strong motion that will provide optimum suction. The process is working if you see toilet paper bits floating out of the drain.

Once you are done plunging the drain, flush your toilet to check whether you successfully cleared the blockage. The problem is fixed if your toilet flushes normally.

5) Use An Auger

If the problem persists, use an auger (plumber’s snake), a highly effective tool against severe clogs.

  • Put it into the siphon or opening and keep guiding it until you feel resistance (this represents the clog’s center).
  • Rotate and push the plumber’s snake simultaneously to shred the obstruction. Do so until you cannot feel resistance anymore.
  • Flush your toilet.


You can use drain cleaners like Drano to fix the problem besides manual methods.

6) Seek Professional Help

Call a licensed plumber if the problem persists or if you suspect a more significant issue. Plumbers use the appropriate tools and expertise to diagnose and resolve complex plumbing problems, including sewer line blockages and tree root infiltrations.

7) Consider Regular Maintenance

Regular plumbing maintenance helps prevent the occurrence of issues like toilet paper appearing in outside drains. It involves inspecting and cleaning drains, pipes, and sewer lines, which can prevent the accumulation of debris and blockages that lead to backups and overflows.

Maintain your plumbing system to optimize system efficiency, extend the components’ lifespan, prevent health hazards, and detect problems early.

 8) Upgrade Your Plumbing System

Consider upgrading if your plumbing system is aging or prone to recurring issues. Modern plumbing systems have improved efficiency, durability, and functionality. This can help you avoid common plumbing problems and enhance the overall performance of your home’s water and wastewater management.

How to unblock a sewage drain outside

How to Avoid Toilet Paper Appearing Out Of Outside Drains

It is always better to take a proactive approach when it comes to plumbing issues through prevention than reacting once the problem occurs. Take these steps to minimize the likelihood of toilet paper appearing in outside drains:

i) Educate Your Household Members

Ensure everyone at home knows what they can and cannot flush. Make sure they know they cannot flush items like paper towels, hygiene products, and wet wipes should be disposed of in the trash bin, as they can contribute to blockages.

Also, educate them about how disposing of waste properly helps prevent blockages.

ii) Regularly Inspect and Maintain

Schedule regular inspections and maintenance for your plumbing system to identify and address issues before they escalate.

iii) Avoid Excessive Water Usage

Be mindful of excessive water usage because it can overwhelm the plumbing system. This is especially crucial during rainy seasons since the sewer system is stressed already.

iv) Install Drain Covers

 Drain covers or grates help prevent larger debris from entering the sewer pipes and causing blockages.

v) Plant Trees Away from Sewer Lines

Plant trees a safe distance from sewer lines to reduce the risk of root infiltration.

Summary of Toilet Paper Coming Out of Outside Drain

By understanding the potential causes, addressing the problem promptly, and adopting preventive measures, you can maintain a healthy plumbing system and proper wastewater disposal. Don’t ignore this issue since it can severely affect your property and the environment.

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