Steps To Take When Diagnosing Septic Smells

If you notice a smell that you think is coming from your septic tank, it's important to act quickly to avoid big problems with septic tank overflow and other hazardous conditions. Here are some steps to take. 

First Step: Make Sure it Isn't Gas

Before you begin to diagnose the septic tank issues, make sure that the problem isn't actually with your gas lines. A sulfurous, rotting egg smell is common with gas leaks, and these issues can be explosive. If you think this is a potential source of the smell, then call in your gas company to inspect your home. 

Second Step: Check for Visual Evidence

If you're sure the problem lies with your septic tank, the first thing to do is a visual inspection of your premises to look for evidence. Start with the septic tank itself. You might notice a ring around the tank with effluent or even grass that's a different color; this can indicate a septic leak. If you have the tools to do a septic tank volume check, then make sure that the septic tank isn't nearly full; this can mean that the tank is getting backed up and requires a septic tank pumping. 

Next, look at your drain field; see if there are any areas where there is heavy debris or other obstructions to the drain field; these can cause problems with clogging in the drain field that can produce smells and also release harmful bacteria into the environment. You can also inspect your indoor plumbing lines to make sure there is no evidence of leaking. 

Third Step: Try to Isolate the Issue

It also helps to try and pinpoint the area where the smell is the strongest. If it's indoors, you might be looking more at a plumbing issue or a backed up septic tank. If the smell hovers around the tank, draining and clogging issues are more likely. Collecting as much evidence as you can will help your septic tank service to quickly locate and treat the problem. It may also help to reduce your bill if your septic service charges by the hour; they will spend less time trying to find the issues. 

Fourth Step: Call in a Septic Tank Maintenance Team

Finally, call a septic service to treat your home's septic tank issues. It's important to call as soon as you note a septic tank smell to protect the tank and your own health.