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ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT AQ
BIOGAS PRODUCTION & USE
BOOKSTORE - ENVIRONMENTAL
CARPETING & INDOOR AIR QUALITY
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CHEMICAL CONTAMINANTS in WATER
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
DIRECTORY of MOLD / ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERTS
DISINFECTING BUILDINGS with BLEACH
DRYWALL MOLD TESTING
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
EMERGENCY RESPONSE, IAQ, GAS, MOLD
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
GASES, EXPOSURE, TESTING
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
GAS EXPOSURE LIMITS & STANDARDS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INDOOR AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
INDOOR AIR QUALITY METHODS COMPARED
LIGHT, GUIDE to FORENSIC USE
GAS LP & NATURAL GAS SAFETY HAZARDS
LEGIONELLA LEGIONNAIRES' DISEASE
METHANE GAS SOURCES
MILDEW in BUILDINGS ?
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOLD: A COMPLETE GUIDE to TEST CLEAN PREVENT
MOLD ACTION GUIDE - WHAT TO DO ABOUT MOLD
MOLD EXPERT, WHEN TO HIRE
MOLD or INDOOR AIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
OUTHOUSES & LATRINES
OZONE for MOLD OR ODORS
PLUMBING SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC & CESSPOOL SAFETY
SEPTIC SYSTEM ODORS
SEPTIC TREATMENTS & CHEMICALS
SEWAGE & SEPTIC CONTAMINANTS
SEWAGE CONTAMINATION in BUILDINGS
SEWAGE EJECTOR / GRINDER PUMPS
SEWAGE PATHOGENS in SEPTIC SLUDGE
SEWAGE BACKUP, WHAT TO DO
SEWAGE BACKUP TEST & CLEANUP
SEWER GAS ODORS
SEWER LINE REPLACEMENT
SMELL PATCH TEST to Track Down Odors
STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
SULPHUR & SEWER GAS SMELL SOURCES
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
UV LIGHT BLACK LIGHT USES
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VOCs VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
WASTEWATER TREATMENT BASICS
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER TESTS, CONTAMINANTS, TREATMENT
WATER TEST CHOICES & WATER TEST FEES
WATER TREATMENT EQUIPMENT CHOICES
WATER, WELLS, WATER TANKS: TESTING GUIDE
WETLAND SEPTIC SYSTEMS
Drain & sewer line leak & odor diagnosis & repair: this article describes how to diagnose, find, and cure odors in buildings including septic or sewage or sewer gas smells or "gas odors" in buildings.
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Septic System or Sewer Piping Blockage or Failure Can Produce Sewer or Septic Gases Outdoors OR Indoors
Our sewer gas odor diagnosis discussed here focuses on homes with a private onsite septic tank but including tips for owners whose home is connected to a sewer system as well. What makes the smell in sewer gas? Sewer gases are more than an obnoxious odor. Readers should be sure to also see SEWER GAS ODORS.
Watch out: Because sewer gas contains methane gas (CH4) there is a risk of an explosion hazard or even fatal asphyxiation. Sewer gases also probably contain hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S) In addition some writers opine that there are possible health hazards from sewer gas exposure, such as a bacterial infection of the sinuses (which can occur due to any sinus irritation).
Depending on the sewer gas source and other factors such as humidity and building and weather conditions, mold spores may also be present in sewer gases. Also see Wet Weather or Cold Weather Septic Odors or Sewage Odor Diagnosis & Repair Guide for additional odor tracing and cure advice for odors occurring during wet or cold weather.
Inspect the septic system for evidence of failure: our photo shows green septic dye in the yard during a septic loading and dye test.
If the sewer or gas odor or smell is strongest outside, and if you rule out an unusual site shape or wind blowing odors down from your plumbing vent system,
your septic system may be failing.
If this is the case you may want to request a septic system inspection as well as a tank pumpout and inspection afterwards.
See Cold Weather Septic Odors or Sewage Odor Diagnosis which also discusses sewer gas odors that can occur when a drain or septic system are partly blocked or sluggish. Also see Septic System Safety.
This Australian septic system advice was paraphrased/near-quoted from advice given by Adelaide Hills Council, Australia. In some areas such as South Australia, aerobic wastewater treatment is used to treat effluent to a sufficient level of sanitation that it can be used for irrigation within the property - in other words it is dispersed on the soil for the purpose of both disposal and for irrigation.
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