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Septic system odor can be anything from a nuisance to a dangerous problem. But what does it mean? For starters, odor is not a sign that the tank is full or needs to be pumped out. Septic odors are caused by gases in the system, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane. Not only can they be annoying, a high enough concentration of these gases can be toxic, or even explosive. The cause could be a small issue, like a fixture that has gone unused for a while, or a sign of a larger problem. Either way if you are noticing an odor, there is a problem that needs to be addressed. 

  • Odors In The Home – The most common cause in the home is a dried out trap. The trap on your sink, shower, or toilet is filled with water to keep gases from re-entering the home. If a fixture goes unused for a long period of time, the water in that trap will evaporate. Depending on where the smell is strongest, a loose seal on a sump pump basket, drain access plug, or toilet ring could be the issue. Also be sure the plumbing vent on the roof is free of obstructions. Slow gurgling sounds while fixtures drain are a tell-tale sign the vent stack is blocked. 
  • Odors Near The Tank – The occasional light odor near the tank is normal and to be expected. But a constant strong odor is a concern. Typically the issue is an unsecure manhole cover. It could be the seal or the lid itself has failed. Have a professional inspect the tank to determine the necessary repair. 
  • Leach Field Odors – These are an indication there is a problem with the pipes and drainage system. Look for areas that are particularly wet or soggy, as they could signal a broken pipe underground. Leaking sewage is a health hazard and needs to be addressed by a professional as soon as possible. 
  • Other Potential Issues – If your home is in a low-lying area or surrounded by trees, there may not be enough wind on your property to disperse the expelled gas. Extending the vent stack and/or adding a carbon filter on the top can help reduce this problem. And of course, be sure to maintain your system’s chemistry by only disposing of organic waste. Pouring a cup of baking soda into the drain once a week can help your system maintain the proper pH levels.

Whatever the cause, we’ve seen it all and are ready to help you get back to the “clean life”. Call Got-A-Go, Northern Kentucky Septic Pumping and Portable Toilet Rentals, today to schedule your next regular maintenance service or anytime you need help with your septic system.