How To Deal With Septic Vent Smell In And Around Your Property
Ever walked around your home or office and gotten a whiff of rotten eggs? Once you catch the scent of sewer smell, you know that there is an issue relating to your septic vent and tank. It's unpleasant, and if it's hanging around for too long it can even be bad for your health.
A septic tank and vent that has been properly treated and maintained should produce no odor, and so if yours is emitting a smell is a clear sign that something is wrong and needs attention. In this article you'll learn everything there is to know about septic tank odors and how to effectively manage them.
Odors that are produced by septic tanks are typically caused by a build-up of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane in the system. These gases are a byproduct of the bacteria in the septic system processing the waste. This is more than just another maintenance headache to deal with - if the gases build up enough, they can even become toxic or explosive. That means that once you find the odors becoming overpowering or extra obtrusive, it's time to take steps towards fixing them.
If you’re having trouble with septic vent smell in and around your property, then this guide is for you. We’re covering some of the most common reasons for septic vent smell and how to deal with them:
Septic Vent Odors In The House
If you pick up a septic odor in your home or place of business, it’s indicative of a plumbing problem somewhere in the system. It could be as simple as a small part needing to be replaced, or it could be complicated enough to require the work of a professional to repair.
If the septic vent odors are starting to build up in your home, you will need to narrow down the cause. This can be a complicated process since there can be several different sources causing the bad smell. Some of the most common causes of these odors being in your home include:
-If you have a floor drain trap in your basement, it could have dried out and enabled gases from the septic tank to go into the house. This is fixed by semi-regularly filling your drain traps with water.
-The vent meant for plumbing on the roof could be impacted by a blockage that will need to be cleared out by hand. This is typically seen if your tub, sink, or toilet is making a gurgling noise.
- If the odor is most prominent in your bathroom, the wax seal on your toilet may have dried out and can be easily replaced by applying a new one.
- There may be a leak in one of your pipes or under a sink, allowing septic vent odors to creep into the property. This will need to be checked out by a plumbing professional and replaced.
These are not the only reasons why you may be smelling septic vent odors in your home or business, but they are a good place to start checking.
Next, we'll go over what to do if the odors are congregating outside of your property.
Septic Vent Odors Outside The Property
Now we know the causes inside of the home, it's important to look at the causes outside of it too. It's normal to occasionally catch a slight smell near your septic tank outside, but if the odor is strong there might be a leak or something else at play that will need your urgent attention.
Most septic tanks are made up of a large concrete, steel or fiberglass container which is traditionally buried underground. From this large tank, pipes are run into the plumbing of your home or business to create an underground waste superhighway. The waste is collected into the tank where it decomposes while the wastewater is redirected to a local water treatment facility for further steps.
This tank is where the odor you are picking up outdoors is coming from. Natural bacterias break down the bio-solid waste and any additional byproducts are drawn away along with the rest of the wastewater. You'll want to locate the top of your septic tank and ensure the risers and manholes are all properly secured and there is no sign of leaking. Pay particular attention to the rubber seals since they are responsible for sealing in the odors - if they have started to crumble or tear they will need to be replaced.
The type of repairs you need to do will greatly depend on the type of material your septic tank is made of. A concrete septic tank with a lid that's leaking can, for example, be temporarily sealed with weather stripping until further repair is possible.
The other important thing you should check when you are trying to track down these odors is the septic tank vent. We'll talk more about this below:
The Role Of A Septic Tank Vent
When a septic tank is empty, the plumbing system is sealed and there is nothing but air inside.
Once the tank starts to fill with waste and other water run-off, the air needs to be displaced or else it will start to cause backflow into the pipes. The pressure build-up is what normally causes toilets to overflow.
This is where venting comes in. A septic tank vent is a key part of keeping a septic tank working properly and staying (mostly) odorless. Proper septic tank vents allow the gases to escape via the venting system through your roof vent pipe or a septic vent pipe in your yard.
These vent pipes essentially equalize the pressure in your drain system and play an important role in the management of septic tank odors.
There are also a few additional steps you can take if you're still struggling with odor control. We talk more about these options in the next section.
Taking Odor Control Further
More often than not a slight smell from the septic tank is within the realm of normal. At the same time, it can be unpleasant and even detrimental if it's happening in your place of business. There is nothing more effective at shutting down a business than a bad smell!
Luckily, there are a few things that can be done to minimize the odors being emitted by your septic tank without undertaking costly repairs.
Firstly, you can try to increase the height or size of the septic tank vent pipe on your property. This will improve ventilation and help you get rid of more of the gases that are building up inside and around the septic tank. A higher pipe in particular will help you eject any gases in the air out of the reach of your senses.
Another step you can take is to do maintenance work on your nearby trees and shrubbery in your yard or surroundings. Sometimes leafy overgrowth can lead to a tent-like blockage that keeps the odors close to your property instead of allowing them to escape. Cutting some strategic holes will enable more fresh air to enter and bad smells to disappear.
Some experts recommend the addition of a charcoal septic vent filter, an affordable way to fight odors in the gases that are being vented. Charcoal is a natural odor-killer and an inexpensive way to manage many of the odors emitted by septic tanks. By adding a filter, the gases are forced to pass through a charcoal layer that absorbs the smells and releases odorless byproducts into the air.
There is only one problem with these solutions. None of them go to the real source of what is causing the odor - the bacteria found in the septic tank and sewer system.
The In-Pipe Solution To Odor Control
What if you could find a scientifically proven way to eliminate odor at its source without running around playing Whack-a-Mole throughout your system to figure out where the odors are coming from?
Odor problems can occur in multiple areas in the process, but if you attack the problems at the point where they germinate you’ll have much better success at preventing issues later in the system.
In-Pipe Technology’s solution is designed to fight fire with fire, eliminating odor problems at their source with a proven bioscience solution that targets the cause of the odor and destroys it.
With In-Pipe’s proprietary bacteria safely consuming nutrients before odor-causing bacteria can reach them, your sewer and septic tank system will become odorless from the source - it's proactive instead of reactive.
In-Pipe’s innovative solution to persistent odor problems stands out in the market because it takes care of the problem at its source and doesn’t hurt your equipment or the environment. Cities are looking for inexpensive, long-term, green solutions and In-Pipe will make it possible for you to fix it and forget it.
We're all about safer water treatment through bioscience. Contact us today to find out how we can help you introduce natural odor control to your systems.