Why Does My Septic Tank Smell Outside? Palmetto Pumpers Has the Answer

If you notice foul sewage odors around your septic tank or elsewhere outside, it’s time to call Palmetto Pumpers right away. Your septic tank has a huge responsibility. It filters the wastewater that exits your home and houses the solid materials until you have us pump it out. Odors are generally signs that something is wrong with your system, and you don’t want to put off diagnosis or repairs, as this can create environmental issues and increase your final bill.


The septic system connects to your home through various pipes. As with all household plumbing, a certain amount of water traps in the pipes. This is good when it comes to a septic system. The trapped water prevents odor from your tank from coming back up through the pipes and thereby your drains. If any of the pipes or the P-trap have dried out, you may notice odors inside your home. A quick solution is to run water throughout the house to trap water once again.

Vent Pipe

The above will introduce odors indoors more than outdoors, but it’s still important to bring up because it helps you keep septic system smells at bay inside. Outside, you have a plumbing vent pipe on your roof. This vent sustains the water pressure in your pipes to prevent drain backup and gurgling toilets. The vent can clog, especially if you have a lot of trees around your home that deposit leaves on your roof. Once clogged, you’ll notice odor indoors and out.

System Compromise

Another cause of outdoor septic system odor is compromised. If your septic tank is old, it may be cracked or worn. The tank will rust over time, and the rust will eat away at the tank. This introduces solid waste into your ground soil, which could be one cause of odors. Your leach field might also become contaminated if the tank is cracked or too full. The sewage will back up out of the tank and into the field, clogging it and stopping wastewater flow.

Any of these things could spell serious trouble, which is why we here at Palmetto Pumpers recommend regular maintenance of your septic system. We service the entire West Columbia, SC, area, including Anderson and Greenville. If you call us at 864-385-3933, we will inspect your system to ensure everything is okay. We will find the source of your outdoor odor and then sit down with you discuss a remediation plan that works.

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