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Thread: Smell from Septic Tank

  1. #1

    Default Smell from Septic Tank

    I have, what I beleve to be, sewer gas comming from my septic tank in the back yard ... How do I know for sure, and how can I eliminate it?

    A little background

    House Built in 1986 with 2 - 1000 Gal Concrete tanks and ~ 500 - 600 ft drainfeild, many many people have told me the field was WAY to small.
    We moved in 2 years ago and had the some of the system replaced with a areator - sand filter - chlorinator - declortinaror type system, but the 2 - 1000 gal tanks were reused. The first tank still functions as a Septic / seperator tank, from there, the Areator, then from the areator, to the other old 1000 gal tank, then pumped to the sand filters. Next is the Chlor / dechlor then pump tank to open drainage ditch at the street.

    The 2 tanks have 1 riser each exposed, other is burried with a tapered plug at the tank and a flat concrete list slightly above grade.

    When we are out on the deck in the back we can always smell sewer gas, a bit more at night, but it's always there. This was the same with the old drainfield as well, it's one of the resons we looked at upgrading.

    Anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    200 miles south of Little Rock


    I do not have any actual experience with an aerator, but logic would suggest the air it injects must ultimately escape somewhere.

    I have my own drain fields vented, and last summer I very occasionally noticed a bit of an odor in the backyard. If that persists, I might install a small fan (such as used for composting toilets) in the 3" vent line going out through my roof. My previous assumption was that convection would take care of that, but now I am not so sure.

  3. #3
    DIY Member coz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007


    they also sell charcoal filters to go on the vent

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by coz
    they also sell charcoal filters to go on the vent
    Anyone have any opinions on the filters? Good, bad, worthless?

    I also live in northern Ohio and have heard that there may be issues with the vents freezing over in the winter, any real issues with that?

    ... Yes, I know it took me a while to respond, to many projects, so little time ...


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