What a nightmare to come home and find that you have strange sewage smelling odors throughout your home. Yes, it seems to happen to everyone that has some type of onsite septic treatment system. Whether you have a standard septic tank and drain field, a cesspit or sand mound type system, the information below may help you with some general advice on dealing with uncontrollable odors caused by septic tanks and sewers drain lines. It will also give you some incite as to how to maintain a septic tank systems and their drain fields.
You may be asking yourself, what can I do? Well, the answer may be pretty simple. Septic smelling odors are a sign that something inside your system is not quite right. Your septic system might be lacking a routine maintenance program which helps keep the odors at bay, or, you may have a more serious issue such as a congested drain field, broken septic tank baffle or a collapsed line. Sometimes older lateral lines simply collapse with age while others are snapped by invading tree roots or from being driven over by heavy equipment. Some even shift or break during earthquakes! Whatever the reason, the first thing you want to do is to have your system inspected. A simple inspection can determine whether or not your field is the culprit. Since your leach lines are usually the cause of the backup that leads to odors, you will need to first shock the system using a powerful commercial grade liquid and powder shock treatment followed by a granular maintenance. The right liquid shock treatment will contain massive amounts of hungry bacteria that will travel through your homes piping, out to your septic tank and directly into your connecting field lines. The granular portion of the shock treatment will do the same but is weaker and acts more as a support to compliment the more powerful liquid.
The next step is to monitor the system and stay in contact with your treatment supplier. While most systems react very favorable to this type of liquid/granular two pronged attack, follow up tweaking may be necessary to assure that the odors dissipate and the system returns to normal.
Backing up the inspection of your system, keep in mind that if your septic tank is full of sludge, that in itself may be a contributing reason for the odors that are working their way into your home. As systems become too full, gases that normally exist within the system become compressed and try to escape through your homes weakest link. This weak link is usually your bathroom kitchen sink, shower stall, back yard or the lid area around your septic tank or cess pit. If heavy sludge is present, have the system emptied, the baffle inspected and begin your liquid shock treatment.
Other causes of odor can be the result of clogged septic tank vents which will surely cause an odor problem. This can be caused by a number of reasons. Clogged septic vent pipes can be hard to find and even harder to clear out. In the event you have a clogged septic vent consider calling a plumber. Septic and sewer vents typically vent out the top of the house and will require a professional that is experienced with climbing on a roof and inspecting septic and sewer vents.
Septic tank odors and sludge can usually be remediated if addresses quickly so that the existing problem does not lead to more serious issues. During your treatment you will want to avoid the use of anti-bacterial products and taking care of your laundry offsite might be a good idea since the excess water may hinder the treatment. There are many different types of chemicals and treatments on the market to choose from. One reputable septic treatment company is Newtechbio who provides a kit containing a liquid shock paired with a granular shock and maintenance program. You can view some of the Newtechbio review information online or check with your local BBB for up to date feedback.
When facing odors in your home, remember to stay calm and don’t panic. Although your septic pumper may tell you that you may be facing a full leach field replacement (this is where your lateral lines are removed and replaced), remember that cooler heads prevail. Do your homework and research thoroughly what the best course of action should be for your unique situation. Luckily, most septic odors in the home can be remedied and don’t require going through the headache and expense of a new drain field system.