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Hi all,

We have a finished basement in our house with a shower/bathroom, a sink, basement floor drain and washer/dryer. In the last five years, we have never had any sewer smell in the basement. We keep the sink/drain traps full with water, washer discharge pipe all taped up so no air escapes, and right everything seems to drain/flush ok.

But in the last few weeks we are getting this smell on and off, and lately it has been pretty bad. I checked the roof to see if the vent is clogged/iced over, but that's not the case. I checked the catch basin that's behind our house today (first time since the Chicago snow melted).

Here are pictures:

The water level has never been so low before, this is the first time that I am actually seeing the drain pipes.

Looks like there are two pipes, the one on the top (say 12 o'clock) is facing towards me. The other one (say 1 o'clock) is a lateral pipe, it seems. Although it looks like there is sediment in front of the second pipe I think it is kind of misleading, from where I saw the pipe did not look like it was blocked.

Is it normal that the water level is so low that these are visible? We are five people in the house so I'd assume there is going to be enough water flow with the three showers and bathrooms under use.

Also, do you think the smell is coming into our basement because there is no water and the trap(s) may be dry? If that's the case, filling the catch basin up with water may eliminate the issue?

Thanks in advance.
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