Seeping Sewer Odors: What You Should Know

Septic smells: A septic tank is designed to store and treat wastewater. It has two main functions: storing the wastewater until it is treated and breaking down solid wastes to dissolve in the water. A septic system consists of a septic tank, field lines, seepage pits, leaching beds (or percolation trenches), drain fields, or soil purification systems.

Septic tanks are used more often than other on-site disposal systems because they don’t require any additional infrastructure besides access to municipal sewer service for wastewater discharge (source). They work using anaerobic digestion – bacteria break down organic substances into harmless compounds like carbon dioxide and methane gas in the septic tank while producing a septic sludge (source).

The septic tank is a water-tight box usually buried in the ground. It has four parts: an inlet where sewage enters from household plumbing, a floating or fixed cover to prevent gases from escaping the septic system, a settling area for solids and liquids to separate as organic wastes.