Plugged Septic Field???

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    • #278503
      MasterPlumbers
      Keymaster

      I reside in a city that still uses septic tanks. In July ’99 I purchased a 3 yr. old home
      … and in August both 1000 gallon tanks were pumped out. My problems began last December … smell
      … rotten chicken smell … absolutely bad! was detected. No reason for the smell could be located.
      Eight weeks ago, a strong smell was present … and the gas company was called. Chico (my pooch) was
      vomitting and I had an enormous headache. No gas, monoxide or anything else could be located by the
      gas company. However, the smell in the dungeon (4.5 ft. cement crawl space) was horrid. No dampness,
      water of any nature was located. One only of the 1000 gallon tanks was pumped … the smell
      disappears. Now, it’s returned again. At $228.00 a pump (and that’s for one tank, it would be double
      that to do both tanks) … it gets might expensive, should I be required to have the tanks pumped
      every 8 weeks. Help!!!
      I have a natural gravel based yard … digging any hole will soon let you know how many muscles you
      really don’t have. When I purchased, the front yard was nil and void of any trees, flowers, grass
      and now, … the entire yard was landscaped last October. So, I reckon that rules out tree roots. No
      one here can supply any answers as to what the problem might be. Does it sound like the septic field
      is plugged? in so short of time? (house built August 1996) I would appreciate any information,
      comments or suggestions.
      I thank you in advance.
      Lois

    • #298646
      John Aldrich1

      Lois, I think that you have a vent leak in the “dungeon” area of your home. Pumping the septic tanks will do nothing to eliminate the sewer gas odors which may be eminating from a vent leak. It is difficult to analyze the problem without the benefit of a site visit, but from your description of the gravelly soil in your yard,
      the fact that you have 2-1000 gallon septic tanks, and the relative newness of the system, it seems that the source of the odors must be from a vent leak. I suggest that you contact a master plumber in your area, and have him or her test the vent system.

      This sewer gas odor condition in your house is not only a nuisance, but if the concentration of methane gas increases significantly the situation is potentially explosive, and very dangerous. JWA

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