Septic odors are normal for any well-functioning septic tank. As the anaerobic bacteria break down the organic waste, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane gases are released. Hydrogen sulfide has a foul smell that would easily be detected by the human nose.
It's normal to occasionally notice a weak smell near the septic tank, but a strong odor could be a sign of a leak from the manhole. Check the risers and manholes to make sure they're covered securely. The tank manhole cover is usually a concrete lid, but it could also be metal or plastic.
If your septic tank isn't working the way it should, that leads to bad smells. That's because the bacteria inside your tank makes gas as it breaks down the waste. If this gas can't be contained because of a problem with your septic tank or how you're using it, it may create a foul septic tank odor.
Grab some household baking soda and pour a cup of it down any toilet or drain. This should be done about once a week, which will help maintain a good pH level (between 6.8 to 7.6) for the microorganisms. After the baking soda is in the drain, make sure to avoid using excessive amounts of water.
When it's raining and the air pressure is low, the air is less dense which means that gases do not rise up as easily and instead remain closer to the ground. As they lingers you're more likely to notice the stronger smell.
If there is no septic tank odor outside but you're still experiencing septic tank smells in bathroom areas, you may have a plumbing issue. Check the wax seal on your toilet. A dried-out seal can cause the septic smell to waft into the house from around the base of the toilet. Fortunately, it's quick and easy to repair.
There are several common causes for a sewage odor coming up from the shower drain, including a clog in the drain line, a dry or dirty P-trap, mold or biofilm build-up, and leaking drain lines in the walls, ceiling, or under the floor.
Inspect and Pump Frequently
Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year. A service contract is important since alternative systems have mechanized parts.
Typically, the first indicator that there's something wrong with your septic aerator is the system alarm sounding.
One of the most common issues of drain odor is due to blockages and clogs. Any type of blockages, whether they are partial or full, can prevent waste water from properly leaving your home. Over time, this stagnant water sitting in the pipes can build up bacteria and produce pungent odors throughout the night.
How much baking soda do I put in my septic tank? You can mix about a 1/4 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of vinegar and 2 tablespoons lemon to make your own natural cleaning agent.
The answer to this question is yes and no. A small amount of bleach won't harm a septic system. However, a large amount of bleach can be very harmful. Adding three-quarters of a cup (or less) of bleach to a load of laundry is not going to damage your septic system.
Baking soda and vinegar are safe and effective cleaners for your household drains and, best yet, they are 100% safe for your septic tank and drain field. Bleach and ammonia-based cleaners (i.e. most of the cleaning aisle at the big-box stores) can be harmful to the good bacteria in your septic tank.
A septic tank is only made to handle so much water on a given day. If you do multiple loads of laundry, then you can overload the septic system and not give the tank enough time to clear out excess water before the next load of laundry begins. Ideally, you want to limit laundry to a single load per day.
1. Too much water was used at once. Your septic system can only handle so much water at a time. If you use a lot of water all at once (like if your household all takes showers one after the other or if you run multiple loads of laundry in a row), this can overwhelm your septic tank.
A septic tank should always be “filled” to its normal liquid level, or the bottom of the outlet pipe which carries effluent to the absorption area. This normal liquid level is usually between 8” to 12” from the top of the tank on average (see picture at right).
Septic Tank Cleaning Prices
The cost of pumping out the tank could be about $250 for a 3,000-litre tank and up to $1,000 for a 5,000-litre tank.
Everything you flush down the toilet and send down the sinks, showers and washing machine or dishwasher ends up in your septic tank system. 2. Wastewater flows from the house to the septic tank. The solids and scum form sludge in the tank and this needs to be removed regularly.
A bathroom that smells like sewage means there is an issue with one of the drainage points in your bathroom. This means that the sewage gases contained in the sewage system can freely seep into the air. These drains, including the toilet, are designed not to allow sewage gas into your home.
Loose or Missing Sewer Trap Plug
One easy reason you may be smelling sewer gas is a loose or missing sewer trap plug. Every home has a sewer access point. This point allows you to access where the public sewer meets your sewer line. If this access point isn't securely sealed with a plug, sewer smells will leak out.
One of the most common causes of sewage smells is a clogged drain. When your home's wastewater has nowhere to go, the odors will come back up the drain they should be going down.