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Old 08-13-2010, 09:04 AM   #1
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funky sewer smells


Have been in this home about 7 years and is on septic tank with dispersell into a neighborhood sewer line. about 3 years ago, started having sewer back up type smells in basement and out side of house. had septic tank pumped and checked all vents and p-traps. verything seems fine.

Still get smells, especially outside during seasons changes or chill coming on.

Cant track down to issue. spoke with septic tank company and they have no idea.

thoughts?

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Old 08-13-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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funky sewer smells


Just a thought, could it may be the air is heavier in cooler weather causing a down draft from your roof vents? I would guess right off hand it would have to come from a vent of some type as the tank and lines are under ground, JMHO. Just had another thought, maybe a broken pipe?

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Old 08-14-2010, 09:28 AM   #3
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Yes, at times of "low pressure", as in weather (cold fronts) you may experience smells from the ventilation system. Charcoal vent filters may remedy the problem.

http://www.plumbingsupply.com/vent_pipe_filters.html
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Old 08-16-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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funky sewer smells


thanks but that answer doesnt seem likely as never had the problem for first 3 or 4 years here. a relatively recent (couple years ago) occurance
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Old 08-16-2010, 01:35 PM   #5
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thanks but that answer doesnt seem likely as never had the problem for first 3 or 4 years here. a relatively recent (couple years ago) occurance
In your initial post you mentioned it was more noticeable during times of cold weather, etc.

If you feel that is ruled out then you'll need to further investigate. So tell us more about the type of system you're on. You mentioned a septic tank then "dispersal into a neighborhood sewer".

Is this a 2 stage system? Does everything in the house run to a septic tank, then effluent goes to another sump basin, and is discharged with a pump to a pressurized sewer? Or does everything run into one basin with a grinder pump? Do you have risers (green plastic lids screwed down) covering the tank and sump basin? Were both lids pulled when you had the "septic" pumped?
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Old 08-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #6
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thanks LC

I dont know what type of system it is. Basically, my house waste flows to a syptic tank outside house. runoff affluent goes to a community sewer line that runs to a master "syptic tank" down the hill. I dont see or find any risers covering my tank and dont even know where the master tank is (except down the hill). As mentioned, I had to dig down to get to my septic tank to pump it out.

These smells dont seem to be just during cold weather but any change from hot to cold or cold to hot is when most prevelent but still present anytime.
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Old 08-16-2010, 04:42 PM   #7
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funky sewer smells


Being in an area where everyone else is on septic, maybe you are getting fumes in the wind from a neighbor.
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Old 08-16-2010, 05:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
I dont see or find any risers covering my tank and dont even know where the master tank is (except down the hill).
Hmmm perhaps you're getting smells from the "master tank" or drainfield. Is anyone else noticing these smells, neighbors..? How close are your neighbors? How far down the hill is the "master tank"?

It's a long shot; but the way you explain sewer smells during times of heat, cold, temp change, weather patterns, etc., leads me to believe it's maybe not coming from your tank, but a neighbors or "the master", or a combination of all. Hydrogen Sulfide (funky sewer smell) however, is heavier than air. Thus, in times of High Pressure you'd notice it at a higher elevation. And likewise with Low Pressure, you'd notice it at a lower elevation. During a low pressure system you would have a better chance of getting the smells in the basement of your home. Warm fronts, cold fronts, temperature inversions, and wind patterns obviously can change day by day and hour by hour. Meaning you might smell it one minute and not the next. In the basement this time, and not the next...

I'm guessing then there's a HOA or Wastewater Dept. that takes care of the "master tank" at the bottom of the hill. Have you contacted them?

Are there any other possible sources of the "funky sewer smells"? Natural springs, swamps, etc.?
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:44 AM   #9
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LC thanks again. No streams or such that could be contibuting.

I suspect that this issue is the problem... as I have kind of looked at everything that seems to be on my property. I suspect it is some kind of back flow smell from master. They, the HOA, seem very unresponsive so presuming that might be the issue, is there anything I can do in terms of vents or something in line to head off the smells?
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:04 AM   #10
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LC thanks again. No streams or such that could be contibuting.

I suspect that this issue is the problem... as I have kind of looked at everything that seems to be on my property. I suspect it is some kind of back flow smell from master. They, the HOA, seem very unresponsive so presuming that might be the issue, is there anything I can do in terms of vents or something in line to head off the smells?
I think you just need to be persistent with the HOA. Keep calling until they do something about it. Get your neighbors involved and calling also. It's probably a lid on a tank that's not sealed, poorly sealed or secured, or a problem with a saturated drainfield.

Another thought.. are there any bio-swales down the hill that have standing water?

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