Septic Tank Odor Problems


Most septic systems function without any problems, but when a odor problem occurs, you should not ignore it. Sewer gas contains methane gas and possibly hydrogen sulfide gas. These gases put you and your family at risk for bacterial infections of the respiratory system, mold spores and a possible explosion if there is a build up of methane gas within your home.

Indoor Septic Tank Odors

  • Check your basement or under the crawl space of your house for leaking pipes leading into and out of the space. Disconnected or broken waste pipes are one source of indoor septic tank odors. Another source of indoor septic tank odor is pipes in the bathroom or kitchen that are not vented properly or have cracks in them. Examine each pipe in your bathroom and check for cracks, holes and loose seals. Repair or replace them. Then check to make sure all the pipes have charcoal filters on them by going on the roof or other areas where the pipes are vented, especially the main sewer line vent.

U-Shaped Pipes & Odors

  • Disconnect the u-shaped section of pipe in all your bathrooms and in the kitchen to check and see if the pipe has water in it. The purpose of u-shaped pipes is to keep gases from returning back into your home from the septic tank. If there is no water in the pipe, you smell a sewage odor. To correct the odor/pipe problem, reconnect the u-shaped pipe and add water slowly to the pipe so it can stand in the neck of the pipe.

Leach Fields

  • Check the leach fields to see if sewage is coming up onto the ground. Leach fields are one source of outdoor septic tank odors. If you see puddles of sewage and water, contact a septic system repair service to come out and replace pipes and inspect and pump the septic tank as necessary. Repairing a leach field is a labor-intensive project that requires the right equipment to dig up the pipes and perform the repair.

Septic Tank Area

  • Check for soggy spots in the grass around the septic tank. The septic tank itself is another source of outdoor septic tank odors. The odor may be only around the area where the tank is located. Try to determine which side of the tank the sewage is seeping up from. With a shovel, dig up a few holes in the grass and see if a puddle of sewage-rich water appears. Make a note of the area and call your septic system repair service and explain the problem.

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