This forum is a god send. Thank you all.
My tale of woe is fairly long. I apologize in advance.
I'm a first time homeowner/budding DIY'er.
I noticed a hole in my side yard not too long ago, didn't think anything of it, and put a paver stone over it to keep from breaking an ankle. The other day, I moved the paver to mow the area, and came upon a gaggle of roaches. I could see that the hole went down into what I thought was a cavity under a tree root. I set about to dig the "tree root" up and soon discovered that it was really a concrete drain pipe - the building pipe I believe.
The lateral pipe (appears to be CI) comes out from under the foundation right outside my guest bathroom, and joins the concrete wye about two feet away from the house. The wye was where the hole and the cockroaches were. The run to the city line is probably 40-50 feet.
The property has trees with surface roots, but not in the direction of the run to the city line. In reading some previous posts, I think it would be in my best interests to get a camera out here to run through the pipe to determine its integrity prior to setting upon it with a shovel and a couple of laborers to excavate the whole thing. That being said, if the concrete pipe (about 4" diameter) is okay, I suspect it will be a simple matter to retrofit an ABS or PEX wye in place of the old concrete one, no?
And then that brings me to part two of the tale of woe. There was a hole near the back fence where I'm assuming the city sewer is buried. I thought the previous owner's dogs had dug it, but after realizing the first "sinkhole" was caused by a broken pipe, I took shovel to it, and the shovel quickly went in up to the handle (3 feet). Some roaches and other bugs scampering about as I dug indicated that there was water down there.
I don't know if there's a question in here anywhere, but after reading a previous post about 45 degree bends, sewer mains 20 feet down, and backhoes, I figured it best to just stop digging for now.
So, to recap, I should probably get a camera out here, assess the integrity of the pipe, and proceed accordingly.
Any words of comfort or support would be greatly appreciated by me and the wifey. If there are any Houston plumbers out there who can chime in, they would be greatly appreciated.