Why does my septic tank smell?

Septic tanks do sometimes smell.  If you’re noticing a bad smell from your installation, there are a few common causes that could be contributing to the build up of pungent gases.

Here are some tips to think about:

  1. You may be using too much detergent or chemicals. These can be detrimental for sewage systems.
  2. Food waste may be entering the septic tank. Food waste should not be put into a spetic tank.
  1. There could be incorrect ventilation. The soil stack should be above the roof line, to ensure any gas comes out correctly.
  1. The system may need de-sludging. A septic tank should be desludged once a year, contact us for more information
  1. The water in a toilet U-bend may have dried up. If you have been away for a long time, or haven’t used a certain toilet for a long time, the water in it can evaporate. This can cause smells to come up and out of the toilet, this can easily be cured by flushing the toilet.
  1. There could be a crack in the soil stack/pipe. If you are experiencing smells in the house and you have ruled out point 5, then it is possible that air could be getting in via a crack in the soil stack running up through the walls. If it is a new build then contact the builder to discuss this.

Take home message

If your system is smelling, then firstly look to what you are putting in it and how frequently it is being emptied. If you are very satisfied that you are using it correctly then you should look to the ventilation and ensure there is good airflow up through the soil stack and out of the roof. Installing an active wind ventilator on the soil stack is a good option but only if there is a way for fresh air to come into the septic tank.

If you don’t fully understand how they work, you can jump to our article that explains how a septic tank works.

Last Update: March 29, 2021  

March 29, 2021   3549  
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