Why is my grey water system so smelly?

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    • #275679
      ATLOFT1

      I recently bought a house in Queensland (in the wonderful land of Oz) and found the grey water system pumps out terribly smelly water. It’s air vent that sticks up on the roof of my house also smells. Sometimes in the evening and early in the morning, when smells tend to fall rather than rise, my house is engulfed in a wicked stink.

      Here’s a description of my grey water system. Waste water from shower, hand basins, kitchen sink, washing machines etc (not toilet) all drain into a little concrete box in my back yard. The box holds about 50 litres and appears to be some kind of grease trap. The box is sealed (underground) with an air vent that pokes up thru the house roof. The box also has a concrete wall in it dividing it in half. The water then flows on to an underground concrete tank that looks just like a septic tank. This tank is vented and has a submersible pump at the bottom that periodically pumps the tank almost dry. The water is pumped to a hose that keeps my lawn watered. The resultant water looks clean but smells bad. The system is 6 years old.

      Upon investigation I found that the smell is originating from the little grease-trap box. I have cleaned it out several times (had a layer of scum floating on the water) but it soon brews up a mighty smell within a few days.

      This box doesn’t seem to do anything except stagnate the water. What’s it for? What would happen if I bypassed it? And how do I kill the smell?

      » This message has been edited by Vincent on 16 July 2002

    • #292693
      Robert Stephen Morton
      Participant

      Vincent. By your description the installation doesnt comply with any standard, the retention times are fare more than normal making the grey water black.
      Check with the local authority & get a Licensed Plumber to carry out any repairs, alternativly accept the smell but be prepared for litigation should any person catch any desease from your black water dispersion, remember that the growth of desease resistant strains of super bug will be enhanced in your situation.
      Bob

    • #292694
      Vincent
      Participant

      I fixed it. Now I can breath again.

      Problem was a partially blocked outlet from the grease trap causing the water to not flow fast enuff to stir up the dead water in the grease trap. My kids (4 year old twins) had dumped a bucket load of clothes pegs down the drain. They also love to play ‘waterfalls’ in the bathroom – they put a plug in the hand basin & turn the tap on full (for hours) with spectacular results.

      Anyone know a cure for kids?

      » This message has been edited by Vincent on 21 July 2002

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