Septic Tank Odors

Septic tank odors, smells, fumes and other unseen byproducts escaping from your septic system are usually one of the first signs that something within your system is not operating as it should.

There are many different types of septic systems ranging from septic tank and drain field lines, cesspool and cesspit systems, raised systems or sand mounds, spray irrigation systems, lagoons, seepage pits and so on, and so on. Some of theses systems have oxygen injection systems or aerators which help promote a specific type of bacteria that lives on oxygen known as aerobic bacteria. Non-aerated type septic systems rely upon non-oxygen breathing bacteria, or anaerobic bacteria. Since all septic systems depend on bacteria and enzymes to break down waste, insufficient bacteria levels will lead to incomplete digestation. The natural process of decay generates gases within your system which slowly escape through surrounding soils. As the gases escape, bacteria within the systems surrounding soils digest and neutralize the odors. In problem systems, bacteria colonies are reduced and the gases are condensed so much so that the bacteria cannot cleanse the amount of gas that needs to escape. What left is an excess of odorous gases that you can now smell, coming from your system.

So what causes systems to become troublesome and emit too many gases? The answer is simple – a lack of bacteria. Most household chemicals are extremely damaging to septic system bacteria. The chemicals constantly kill off healthy bacteria which leaves much of the waste undigested. This improper digestion leads to excess odors and surrounding area smells. Now, switching to chemicals that are less offensive towards bacteria is the first step to system recovery, however, the years of organic buildup will still exist in your sub-soils and that needs to be addressed. How do you get rid of the years of buildup? That’s easy too – add more bacteria. The more healthy bacteria that are maintained within your system, the faster the organic buildup is digested. Since most systems have had many years of organic waste buildup, resolving your blockages through the use of bacteria friendly chemicals along with concentrated bacteria additives can take anywhere from 1 week to several months for complete remediation, but, septic odors are always the first systems to disappear when adding bacteria and the smells usually subside within 1 to 3 days.

So, to sum things up, if you have septic odors and you really want to get rid of them fast, try switching some of your household cleaners to ones that are bacteria friendly. Apply a healthy bacteria additive monthly and be careful what goes down your drains. If your system is completely clogged, you will want to administer a powerful shock type treatment to drastically increase you bacteria levels. Commercial strength septic tank treatments can quickly reduce septic system odors and smells within just a few hours.

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