Your home septic system is acting up and you’re wondering why it’s giving off a sewer smell either in the house or outside. No matter what you do to mask it, sewage smells horrible and there is no denying it’s there.
Your home septic system creates sewer gasses; this is normal. Gasses are produced throughout the septic system. Normally they move up through the piping and out through the house vent. From there it disperses into the air.
Why Is That Sewer Smell There?
- A blockage occurs in the sewer line
- The elbow in the inlet pipe (distribution box) is unvented
- The absorption field fails – water backs up in your home septic system and covers the inlet and outlet pipes
- A down draft is sending sewer gasses down around your home or into your house through an air conditioning unit or window
When any of the above 4 occur, sewer gasses become trapped and the end result is your home or yard smelling like sewage.
Other Signs There is a Problem
Septic systems can back up. When this happens it’s the result of sludge piling up in your tank. Waste water is not sufficiently treated in the tank before it’s released. When this happens your drain field can clog and your groundwater can become polluted.
Water pools or the ground above the drain field is saturated. Your drain field can become clogged either by broken pipes, tree roots, or particles. It can also be the result of your home using more water than your home septic system is designed to handle.
Your toilets and sinks are backing up or the unimaginable has happened and sewage is leaking into your basement. This usually happens when sewer lines going to the tank or inlet/outlet pipes are plugged. Sometimes the cause is a failed drain field or a full tank.
How To Stop The Sewage Smell
Some people have great success by extending the length of the house vent on their roof. Sometimes when the odor is the result of a down draft a charcoal filter makes an effective fix.
In some cases you are going to need to have your home septic system pumped. Think about the last time you had the tank pumped, has it been over 5 years?
Remember, a home septic system that is giving off a sewer smell is telling you something. It’s a sign that something within the septic system isn’t working properly. It’s best to find the root of the problem and have it fixed before you end up with a very costly problem on your hands.
What advice do you have for home owners that are using a septic tank for the first time? Anything you learned the hard way?