Septic Tank Smells, Decoded

by Ri Industries Ri Industries

Do you ever wake up from a long night of sleep, take in a deep breath and think, “Ah, I just LOVE the smell of septic in the morning!” You probably don’t. Or at least, we hope you don’t!

It would be natural for your septic tank to be smelly because it’s a receptacle for human waste.  But you should never be able to smell the septic on your property because a Ri-Industries septic tank is designed to contain its own odour. The plague of uncontrollable septic odour is more than just a nuisance; it is a sign of sewage issues which, if left untended, can contaminate the water supply and lead to dangerous situations.

What is a diligent septic tank owner to do when their septic starts to smell? Ri-Industries has decoded some of the common problems that lead to stink, and how to solve them:

Smelly Problem #1: Full or Overflowing Septic Tank

Solution: This is the easiest smelly situation to solve. Simply have your tank pumped. A septic tank’s size is usually determined by the expected water usage for your home, and most septic tanks are designed to be pumped every 4 years. If you have a leaky tap, or are using more water than usual, you may need to have the septic tank pumped more often to reduce the septic smell.

Smelly Problem #2: Covered Septic Tank Vent

Solution: If your home has been remodeled or renovated since your Ri-Industries septic tank was installed, your septic tank may have been capped or covered up. If you have a septic tank in an older house, check to see that the head vent off of the main drain is still attached and extends above the roof line of the house. When dealing with an old septic tank, make sure to keep your vents uncovered and in best repair.

Smelly Problem #3: No Septic Tank Vent

Solution: If you are experiencing septic tank odour, you may need to install a proper septic tank vent in your home. If the tank wasn’t installed properly, it may have been installed without any sort of vent at all. If you notice the odour mostly after showering, then this is likely the case.

Smelly Problem #4: Bad Chemistry

Solution: Some things simply shouldn’t go into the septic tank. Here is a list of things you shouldn’t let go down the drain: cooking grease, oil or fat, industrial cleaning products, paints, solvents, feminine hygiene products, condoms, antibiotics and other expired medications, anti-freeze, transmission fluid, or gasoline. These can disrupt the sewage breakdown and cause pungent septic tank odours.

If you have tried all of these solutions to your smelly septic problem and the odour still persists, please do not hesitate to contact us  with questions.