How Do You Troubleshoot Septic Smells Outdoors and in the House?

To troubleshoot septic odors, determine where the odors are predominant, either outside, inside or both to remedy the odor problems. The odors may be caused by a plumbing, venting, drain, or seal issue.

To determine the cause of septic odors:

  1. Find the source of the odor
  2. Locate where the odors are originating. The main sources of odor issues start outside near the septic tank, near the pre-treatment unit or near the soil treatment areas. Indoor odors are usually a plumbing issue with the basement drain or roof pipe plumbing vent.

  3. Troubleshoot outdoor issues
  4. Check to make sure manholes and risers are securely covered. If odors are coming from the pre-treatment or soil treatment areas, inspect the pipes. A licensed professional can correct issues with broken or uncovered pipes. If soil is spongy or indicates sewage leakage, it is an imminent health danger and should be immediately corrected.

  5. Troubleshoot indoor issues
  6. Indoor odors are usually caused by the drying out of a trap in the basement or a frozen or clogged vent. Run water through the basement floor drain and check the roof's plumbing vent for clogs.