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Getting Rid of Septic Tank Smells


Getting Rid of Septic Tank Smells

if you're smelling something foul from your septic tank, you're dealing with more than just a nuisance. It could be a sign of a serious issue. So, let's discuss getting rid of septic tank gases for good.

The Stinky Issue

A properly maintained septic tank shouldn't reek. If it does, it's a telltale sign that something is not right. So, if you're asking yourself, "Why does my septic tank smell?", know that you are not alone. The odor could be a sign of something minor or something serious. However, in either case, it indicates an issue that needs immediate attention.


Septic tank smells are usually caused by a buildup of gases that are too acidic for the system’s microorganisms to handle. These smells aren't just unpleasant; a high concentration of these gases could be toxic or even explosive. A malfunctioning septic system could be dangerous and expensive to repair.

kid holding his nose from bad odor

The Common Reasons

Full Septic Tank

This is probably the most common problem when dealing with septic tank odors. Too much waste in the tank can cause blockages, which subsequently lead to that unpleasant smell wafting from both inside and outside of your home. If your septic tank is regularly pumped, this shouldn't be an issue. However, if you haven’t had your tank serviced in some time, we recommend scheduling pumping services. As a rule of thumb, you should pump out your waste every 3-5 years, depending on your usage and the size of your tank.

Blocked Roof Vents

Air pressure in the plumbing pipes needs to be equalized for waste to flow properly. Vent stacks on your roof allow drains to vent air. If a vent stack isn't functioning properly, it can cause an unpleasant smell and gurgling noises to emerge from the toilet, and it may even slow drains. Ensure your vents aren’t blocked by any debris like leaves, snow, or landscaping. If you do find a blockage, carefully remove it or contact a professional.

Bad Tank Chemistry

Inside the septic tank, microbes work hard to break down waste solids. However, they need the right environment to do their job properly. The pH level must be maintained between 6.8 and 7.6. If it becomes too acidic, a strong hydrogen sulfide gas odor (like rotten eggs) can develop.

3 chamber septic tank under construction

DIY Solutions

Using Activated Carbon Cover

One way to tackle the issue is by using an activated carbon filter over the top of your vent. Activated carbon can help remove strong and unwanted odors. However, using an activated carbon cover will only mask the underlying problem if the issue is more serious.

Household Remedies

Looking for a simple solution using materials found in your home? Try this: pour a cup of baking soda down any toilet or drain once a week. This will help maintain a good pH level for the microorganisms. But remember, after the baking soda is in the drain, make sure to avoid using excessive amounts of water. Excess water will flush the baking soda out of the system and push the waste out of the tank, even if the microorganisms haven’t digested it yet, which can result in a stinky situation.

Professional Help

While DIY solutions are great, it's crucial to have annual septic maintenance by a professional septic tank company. They can help you understand the intricacies of your system and provide expert solutions for how to get rid of septic tank odor in the house.

Final Thoughts

Odors from septic tanks are more than just an annoyance; they could be a sign of a serious problem. If you're dealing with an unpleasant odor, don't ignore it. Try the solutions we discussed or contact a professional for help. It's better to deal with the issue now than face severe consequences later.

Need help getting rid of septic tank smells? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Contact Purge Ventures LLC today, and we'll ensure your septic system is odor-free and functioning properly.

Purge Septic Enhancer

Frequently Asked Questions

A pile of question marks with a red question mark

How to get a septic tank to stop smelling? 

To stop your septic tank from smelling, ensure regular maintenance is carried out. This includes getting your septic tank pumped regularly every 3-5 years, checking and clearing any blockages in the roof vent, and using activated carbon filters to manage odors. Also, regular checks for leaks or breaks in the septic system are essential.

Why does my septic tank stink so bad? 

A septic tank may smell bad due to a buildup of gases produced by the decomposition of organic material in the tank. These gases can cause a foul odor if they are not properly vented, often due to a blocked vent or a full tank. Improper maintenance, such as infrequent pumping or poor system design, can also lead to bad smells.

How do you neutralize septic smells? 

To neutralize septic odors, ensure all drains have water in their traps to prevent gases from escaping into the home. If sewer gas persists, inspect and clear any blockages in vent pipes. A simple home remedy involves using baking soda; pouring a cup down drains helps maintain the tank's pH and can prevent septic smell.

What is septic tank pumping? 

When septic tanks smell, a fix usually involves removing the accumulated sludge, scum, and effluent from a septic tank system. It is typically recommended every 3-5 years to prevent the build-up of solids that can lead to system failure and odors. Regular pumping ensures that septic systems operate effectively and it extends their lifespan.


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