Septic System Odor

Occasionally homeowners complain about odors from their onsite sewage treatment system. Although most people understand that sewage has a particular odor, steps can be taken to limit these odors in the home and yard. Gases from an onsite system that can be a problem include hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and methane. Within a home these gases can be irritating, toxic and explosive. In a yard they are not typically found in high enough concentrations to be dangerous, but are still a nuisance.

There are several locations within an onsite system where odor can be an issue.

1.In the home
2.Near the septic tank
3.Near a pretreatment unit
4.Near the soil treatment area
5.In the yard

Without oxygen, the portion of the bacteria that like to live in the absence of oxygen then begin to thrive. The byproducts of their activities include hydrogen sulfide gas, which smells like rotten eggs.

This tank vents to the atmosphere through the house venting just like all other sewage odors whether from city sewer, conventional septic systems, or whatever. That's why you normally don't smell sewage at any home is the gases are diluted in the air by the time they reach our noses.

At the same time that the dissolved oxygen is being depleted in the trash tank, there is air constantly being added to the aeration compartment, so those aerobic bacteria are active, hungry, and eating. When they run out of food, they die off naturally, or they eat each other.

In short order, the aeration tank becomes devoid of a bacterial colony that is capable of consuming the incoming sewage. So, at this point we have a trash tank full of stinking activities that is politely venting out through the vent in the roof of the house followed by a tank of mostly water that has air being constantly blown and mixed into it.



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