Help! I have a smelly septic tank!

What to Do If You Have a Smelly Septic Tank

A smelly septic tank is not just an annoyance; it can be a symptom of a much larger problem with your drainage. Often, these problems need to be addressed quickly before they escalate into a serious issues that could damage your home. That’s why if you notice an unpleasant odour coming from your septic tank or drainage field, it’s important to take quick action. Here are some of the potential causes of septic tank odours, and what you can do to address the issue.

Why does my septic tank smell?

Several factors can cause a smelly septic tank. Some common causes include:

Full septic tank: One of the most common reasons for septic smells is a tank that is overdue for emptying. When the tank is full, waste can build up and cause foul smells. We strongly recommend regular emptying of septic tanks before they reach this stage. We offer septic tank emptying services throughout Scotland and the north east of England. 

Drainage field issues: Problems with the drain or runoff field, such as clogs or saturation, can prevent proper drainage and lead to unpleasant smells. Get in touch and we can assess the saturation of the soil and make some recommendations to improve matters. 

Improper maintenance: Lack of regular maintenance, such as infrequent emptying or inspections can cause small problems to build. This can result in larger issues like leaky pipes of a cracked tank. Speak to us about regular maintenance on your septic tank to avoid this.

Use of harsh chemicals: Harsh chemicals can kill the beneficial bacteria in your septic tank that help break down waste, leading to a buildup of solids and unpleasant smells. There are some things you simply should not flush into your septic tank, such as bleach.

    Blocked vents: Septic systems are designed with vents to release gases safely. If these vents are blocked, gases can accumulate and cause odours to escape into your home or yard. This is something we can pick up on with regular assessments

    A thumbs up in front of some water pipes.

    What to Do If Your Septic Tank Smells

    If you notice a foul odour coming from your septic tank or around your property, you can check for obvious problems first. These include blocked air vents, which may be covered with leaves or debris or, in bad weather, heavy snowfall. You can also look for obvious plumbing issues such as leaky pipes both inside and outside your home. 

    Consider using cleaning products such as Green Gobbler, many of which are safe for use on septic tanks. These contain biological additives like enzymes which help break down waste products in your tank. 

    However, if nothing is obviously wrong, it’s time to call in the professionals. Here at Septic Tank Services, we are able to quickly get to the bottom of things and see what the cause of the smell is. 


    A smelly septic tank is often a sign of a more serious problem, so once you have checked your system as best you can yourself, give us a call for a more in-depth investigation. Wherever you are in Scotland or the north east of England, we’ll be able to come and take a look and help your smelly septic tank out. Get in touch with Septic Tank Services to book an appointment.