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ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
AIR POLLUTANTS, COMMON INDOOR
AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES
ALLERGEN TESTS for BUILDINGS
ANIMAL ODORS IN BUILDINGS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENTAQ
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
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
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
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
Here we provide descriptions of sewage smell sources and list of links to details about steps to take in curing methane gas, sewer gas, or septic gas smells that are traced to these building plumbing or to an onsite septic or cesspool or drywell system.
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Also see our broad-scope article on diagnosis and cure of sewer gas and septic odors: Sewer Gas Odors diagnosing, finding, and curing septic tank and sewer line smells.
If building drains are blocked or appear blocked hire a plumber to snake the drains. If all drains are blocked, the plumber might start by snaking out the main drain. During this process an experienced plumbing power snake handler can tell if the drain line is broken or damaged or clogged by tree roots. If this is the case an excavator and drain line repairs are needed.
If building drains are not blocked but drainage is slow, sluggish, smelly, or backing up into the building, an inspection of the septic tank can indicate (by abnormally high level) that the tank inlet baffle or outlet baffle are blocked (or missing entirely), or that the tank outlet to drainfield is backing up, or blocked, or the drainfield not working. Also see CLOGGED DRAIN DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
Pumping out or cleaning the septic tank to address an "odor problem" probably won't help: while periodic pumpout of a septic tank is important maintenance to protect the drainfield, will never "fix" one of these problems. The cause of blockage or failure needs to be identified and repaired.
We can think of a case, however, where pumping and inspecting the septic tank baffles might help diagnose a sewer gas odor outdoors or in the building. If the septic tank inlet or outlet baffle is partially blocked by the floating scum layer (the tank is past due for cleaning) sewer gases may back up into the building. See SEPTIC TANK PUMPING SCHEDULE and for a guide to inspecting septic tank baffles, see SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES.
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Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.
Design Manuals for Septic Systems
Onsite Wastewater Disposal Books