Your septic tank is arguably the most important system on your property, as without it you would be unable to properly dispose of wastewater, which would quickly disrupt your everyday routine and schedule. However, your septic tank is susceptible to wear and issues just like every other major appliance, and thus requires regular maintenance to stay in good working order. One of the most common issues that a septic tank can exhibit is the smell of sewage either in your yard or within your home. This is a serious issue, and beyond being extremely unpleasant, it can actually indicate that your septic tank may be malfunctioning and leaking sewage. Understanding some of the most common reasons why your septic tank may smell, and what can be done to address the odor, can help you get everything back in order again as soon as possible.
Your septic tank has a vent that is designed to remove gases that are produced as the bacteria within your septic tank work to break down solid waste. If this vent becomes clogged, it can force those gases to go back up your plumbing and into your home, which may be why you are experiencing unpleasant smells. The vent can become clogged at any time of year: branches, leaves and other organic debris can build up during the warmer months, whereas ice and snow can easily block the vent during the winter. Checking and clearing out the vent every few weeks is a good way to proactively ensure the proper operation of your septic tank.
During periods of extremely heavy rainfall, your septic tank may become flooded with a large amount of rainwater, and can cause waste within the septic tank to leak out into your yard. This can cause a very strong and unpleasant smell in the affected area, and raw and untreated sewage also represents a serious health risk. In order to have this cleaned up, you should contact a septic tank contractor – and be sure to talk to them about yard drainage options that you can install to protect your septic tank from future flooding and runoff.
Finally, the last reason why you may be experiencing strong smells of sewage in your home or yard can be because the septic tank is nearly full. Septic tanks need to be pumped every few years, depending on their size and how much use they see, in order to continue operating properly. If they are not pumped, they can easily runoff into your yard, back sewage up into your home, and can become damaged due to the sheer volume and weight of waste within them. Make sure to have your septic tank on a regular and documented pumping schedule to ensure that none of these issues, and the associated smells, do not develop.
Contact a septic tank pumping service for more help.