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Septic Tank Odor: Causes and Cures

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One of the most common complaints about septic systems is their odor. While septic tank odor is not noticeable in a properly functioning septic system, there are numerous problems that can cause an odor -- especially if your system is not adequately maintained.

Causes of Septic Odor

There are a few different cited causes of septic system odor. One reason why you may smell an odor coming from your septic system is due to blocked plumbing vents. When plumbing vents are obstructed for one reason or another, the plumbing traps can become dry causing an odor which will back up into the home. Once the plumbing vents are cleared the odor will usually cease to exist. The drains can be cleared either by using store bought blockage clearing items or calling a plumber to come aid in the job.

Another cause of septic system odor relates to cold weather. In cold weather where frost or ice is present, the plumbing vent can become blocked. This blockage can propel the sewer gases back up through the drain and into the home which causes a bad odor to be experienced by the homeowners.

Surface runoff as well as ground water may also be the cause of a septic system odor. This occurs quite often when high amounts of rainfall are seen and the odor is one which can exist both within the home and outside as well. The best way to resolve this issue is to provide an intercept drain to take care of the excess water which will help to prevent too much water from backing up and causing an odor.


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