Being a Trash Man Isn't So Bad

What Can Cause Foul Odors after a Septic Pumping?

by Roberto Garza

When you walk past your septic field, you may occasionally catch a whiff of a foul odor. This is natural and, in moderation, typically not a sign that something is wrong. But what should you do when you have your septic tank pumped and are suddenly confronted by a strong smell in your own house? Before you start packing boxes to find a new home, run through these likely culprits to identify the solution. 

Natural Air Circulation

After your septic tank is pumped, it needs time to refill with water. During this period, the system is instead full of gases and vapors, which may seep up through drain's loose dirt. This is especially common in houses with basement drains, which rarely see use and do not refill with water as a result. To speed the recovery process along, run water through all of the drains in your home. You may be able to isolate the troublesome drain by pinpointing where the smell is strongest.  

Broken Toilet Seal

Sometimes, the excess sewer gas present after a septic pumping highlights an existing problem in your plumbing system. Most toilets, for example, are joined to the floor with a wax seal, which can slowly degrade over time. When this seal breaks, odors are free to creep back up through the pipes, and this is only exacerbated following a routine pumping service. If the odor seems to be emanating from your toilet, you will likely need to have the wax seal replaced.  

Spillage during the Pumping Process

If you were working with sloppy sanitation contractors, your odor problem may simply be the result of spillage during pumping or line repair work. Check the areas where your plumbers were working for any stains or visible sewage. If you do find any spillage, do not attempt to handle it yourself. Instead, call in the services of a more professional septic pumping business to clean up the mess safely. 

Malfunctioning Plumbing Vents

Plumbing vents are a series of pipes that lead from the appliances in your home to a vent, typically located on the roof. This vent funnels sewer gas out of your home and also helps the septic system maintain even air pressure. If this vent becomes clogged or frozen during winter, the sewer gases will not have an outlet, and uneven pressure can cause sewage backups through your drains. Have your plumber check your house's vents for any signs of clogging and repair them as necessary. 

If you've got further questions about septic tank pumping, contact a representative of a company like Lemeta Pumping & Thawing.