Septic Odor

Why does my septic system stink at our vacation home?

For this answer to make sense we need to first explain the operation of your system.

Your system is comprised of two tanks. The first tank is the aerobic treatment unit (ATU). The second tank is a pump tank that receives the treated effluent from the ATU, and holds a pump that discharges this treated effluent via pressure out to your dispersal field.

Where the odor comes from in your case is that this process, which is intended to be a ongoing process, stops for long periods of time when you are gone. When it stops, there is no longer any water moving through the ATU, and this creates the odor problem as follows: The water that comes from our homes contains DO because we have aerators on the faucets, shower droplets falling through the air, etc. When the wastewater flow is continuous, there's a continuous supply of DO to the trash tank via the wastewater from the home.

When the process stops, there is no more DO coming in. The bacteria and waste in the trash tank will then quickly consume what DO is present until there is no more. 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.



Previous Article : Septic Smell - - Next Article : Septic Tank Systems

Featured Articles
Providing Quality Service...Guaranteed In the Greater Austin Area of Travis, Hays, Williamson, Burnet, & Bastrop Counties , Manor, Manchaca, Austin, Kyle, Buda, Hays County, Taylor, Jollyville, Waterloo, Misc Locations, Bell County.
Call (512) 338-1804 for fast, dependable service.
Pumping Frequencies The table below provides an estimate of pumping frequency in years, based on the size of the first tank in gallons, and the number of...
Aerobic Septic System? Why do so many customers end up dissatisfied with their septic systems? We feel it starts with nobody asking or even considering the owner's opinion before...
Aerobic Treatment Unit First, please understand that the State has clearly stated it is the owner's responsibility to operate the aerobic treatment unit in compliance with all regulations...
  • Septic Size Most jurisdictions want to see a minimum of 1000 gallons. But the right septic tank size depends on...
  • Aerobic System Pumping Aerobic Treatment Units (ATU) generally require more frequent pumping than do septic tanks of comparable size. There...
  • Septic Pump Pumps: Accessories, Miscellaneous: STEP (septic tank effluent pumping) PVC pipe, fittings Grinder Pumps & Small Lift...
  • Septic Drain Fields Care for your drainfieldYour drainfield is an important part of your septic system. Here are a few things...
  • Septic System Repairs Rudy's Country Store and Bar B Q:Their first septic system began failing after only 3 years and began...