What can you use to neutralize septic tank odor?
A well-designed and normally operating septic system is odor-free. Periodic inspection and emptying will help keep perfect hygiene. A septic tank will last for decades with minimal maintenance, with concrete, fiberglass, or plastic tanks lasting about 50 years.
The septic system design and size can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood across the country, due to a combination of factors. These factors include household size, soil type, and site slope, and lot size, proximity to sensitive water bodies, weather conditions, or even local regulations.
Septic tanks have the potential to develop an odor that can be released into the air. Septic odors are caused by gases in the system, including carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, and methane.
Not only can they be annoying, but a high enough concentration of these gases can also be toxic, or even explosive. The odor develops from a pH level that is too acidic.
Microorganisms exist in the septic tank and digest the organic matter–yet, in turn, they produce large quantities of hydrogen sulfide, methane gas, carbon dioxide, and organic acids.
These by-products result in a pH level that is too acidic for the microorganisms and they stop digesting the organic matter, resulting in a release of hydrogen sulfide gas which smells like rotten eggs.
What can you use to neutralize septic tank odor?
Neutralizing a septic tank can be easy but tasking. You won’t want to live in a smelling environment as it is detrimental to your health.
Septic tank odor flows with the air and easily can get into the nose and the body. Eliminating this odorous flow of air will demand lockage of all loopholes that cause free airflow in and out of the septic tank.
- Household Bleach
- Ammonia Cleaner
- Septic-Safe Drain Cleaner
- All-Purpose Cleaners
- Water-Based Cleaners
- Household Items e.g. Baking soda
To prevent a potential septic tank odor problem, you can adopt any of the following procedures.
Household items e.g. Baking soda
- Pour 1 cup of baking soda down any toilet or drain once a week to maintain a good pH level in your septic tank.
- Don’t use more water than you need. If you use excess water, you will flush the baking soda out of the septic system more quickly and push waste out of the tank that hasn’t been digested by the microorganisms.
- Avoid flushing things down the toilet that microorganisms cannot digest, such as coffee grounds, plastic, cigarette butts, cat litter, or facial tissues. Throw these types of items in the trash.
- Hire a professional septic tank cleaning service to pump out the accumulated waste in your tank periodically e.g. annually or every three to five years, depending on the number of people in the house during that period.
Household bleach is a mixed chemical. The bleach is also known as chlorine bleach is a light liquid containing sodium hypochlorite. Bleach can be dangerous and therefore must be kept out of the reach of children.
Studies show that it is unsafe to use raw bleach for septic tanks. It is therefore advisable to dilute the bleach with water before use.
Using household bleach will not only reduce the odor but will also help kill bacteria in the septic tank.
Household bleach is applied by diluting the bleach with water and flushing it down into the septic tank.
Ammonia cleaner is known to have an offensive odor. However, it is very active and potent when it is used for cleaning.
Remarkably, ammonia is used for household cleanings such as floor and glass cleaning. It is also a perfect liquid for cleaning the bathroom, toilet, and drain.
Just like household bleach, ammonia should be used in a little quantity. And similarly, it is strong enough to eliminate bacteria from your septic tank. It is advisable not to mix household bleach with ammonia cleaner.
Just any type of water-based cleaner can help. You can make use of toilet cleaner, tub cleaner, and any disinfectants.
If you don’t like to go shopping, or you want to be creative, you can try some do-it-yourself techs. In most cases, you will need the following ingredients – water, tablespoon vinegar, a tablespoon of baking soda, and a soap of your choice.
There are several kinds of all-purpose cleaners. You can find a whole lot of this online, in local shops or shopping malls in the country.
All-purpose cleaners, for example, Muscle and Morning Fresh can be useful in cleaning or reducing the septic tank odor.
Septic-Safe Drain Cleaner
Only liquid drain cleaners are safe for septic systems. Foaming or solid drain cleaners can damage the system and should not be used.
However, even liquid drain cleaners may cause septic tank damage if used regularly. Use even a septic-safe drain cleaner sparingly with a septic tank.
If you have to use the drain cleaner weekly or monthly, you may be causing damage to the system
When and how to empty your septic system to avoid odor:
If you own a septic system, it must be well maintained. The frequency of pumping the solids out of your septic tank depends on the following:
- The number of people in your household;
- The amount of wastewater generated (based on the number of people in the household and the amount of water used); and,
- The volume of solids in the wastewater (e.g. using a garbage disposal will increase the number of solids).
Your septic tank absorption field usually would not require maintenance. However, you should adhere to the following rules to keep and lengthen its functional life:
- Do not drive over the absorption field with cars, trucks, or heavy equipment.
- Do not plant trees or shrubbery in the absorption field area, because the roots can get into the lines and plug them.
- Do not cover the absorption field with hard surfaces, such as concrete or asphalt. The grass is the best cover because it will help prevent erosion and help remove excess water.
- Do divert the surface runoff water from roofs, patios, driveways, and other areas away from the absorption field.