It’s not uncommon for your bathroom to occasionally have bad odors, but if you smell sewage, that'’s not a good sign.

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

You walk into your bathroom and crinkle your nose as you detect the faint smell of sewage coming from ... somewhere.

At first, you think you're imagining things. You lean closer to the sink, the shower drain and the toilet as you try to identify the source of the offensive odor. You squeeze some cleaner into the toilet bowl and give it an extra scrub, even though you're certain you just cleaned it yesterday. The fragrance of the cleaner temporarily masks the smell, and you leave the room. Later, you catch another whiff as you walk past the bathroom door. This time, the smell is unmistakable, and no amount of scrubbing, running the fan or spraying air freshener is able to resolve it. So why is there a sewage smell in your bathroom?

The bad news is that any number of things can cause a sewage smell in your bathroom, and it can be difficult to pinpoint the source of the odor. Besides the obvious unpleasant smell, the methane in sewer gas can actually be flammable in large quantities, and breathing it in can be hazardous to your health.

The good news: Once you finally identify the reason for the sewage smell in your bathroom, it's often relatively simple and inexpensive to correct. Want your clean-smelling bathroom back? Read on!