Septic field smells and odors are becoming more common in residential drain fields due to harsh chemicals and the wide spread use of antibacterial cleaning products. Antibacterial hand soaps, wipes and shampoos kill off the coli form beneficial bacteria our bodies produce. These natural occurring bacteria are essential in the septic tank digestion process reducing solids and septic smells before they flow out into the drain field clogging drain field lines.
Drain field odors are typically due to a wet or saturated drain field caused from bio mat build up. Undigested solids flow out into the drain field creating a bio mat. Bio mat accumulates in the drain field compromising the integrity of the system. When septic systems looses their ability to effectively leach effluent (water) into the ground, trapped effluent is forced to the surface causing the drain field and surrounding area to become saturated resulting in wet septic field odors and smells.
This condition is usually treated with a large application of beneficial bacteria consisting of trillions of bacteria per gallon. Bacteria are introduced into the system through sinks and drains in the house or the distribution box may be utilized depending on accessibility to the drain fields.
This condition can also be reversed with heavy doses of bacteria and the restriction of antibacterial soaps and over use of water. Water softeners and the salt they back flush into the septic system should also be restricted.
With a little foresight, drain field odors and smells can be diverted with little effort. Consider adding a beneficial bacteria as a monthly maintenance treatment.