As a homeowner, a smell coming into your living area from the septic system can raise concern. This isn’t just unpleasant; it can indicate problems that need to be addressed with the system itself. If you’ve noticed this issue, here are some of the potential causes and solutions to help you eliminate the problem.

Why Is There a Smell In My Home?

1. Full Tank 

Septic tanks usually have to be pumped every three to five years to prevent overflow. The exact timeline depends on the size and usage of the tank, so those who aren’t sure when their last pumping service was should call for an inspection.

When the tank gets full, gas from the waste can back up through the plumbing lines, causing smells in the home and sometimes over the drain field. Schedule to have the tank pumped to cease the issue.

2. Clogged Vents

Septic systems have vents that are designed to safely release gas outside of the home. If these vents are clogged, whether it’s by leaves, debris, or ice, gas can back up into the home.

If it’s leaves and debris causing the clog, you may be able to simply clear the area. For an ice blockage, try warm water to melt it. Additionally, monitoring the vents regularly can often help you avoid this problem before it starts.

3. Heavy Rainfall

septic systemHeavy rainfall can leave the drain field saturated, which makes it harder for the septic tank to distribute more water to the area. This can essentially cause the tank to fill up prematurely and cause gas to back up into the home.

There’s nothing you can do about the rain, but you can try to direct downspouts and other sources of water away from the drain field. Additionally, try to avoid doing laundry, dishes, or other tasks that use a lot of water when there’s heavy rainfall to avoid this problem.


If you need pumping or other services for your septic system, contact Great Bear Septic. Based in Mahopac, NY, the company serves customers throughout Westchester, Putnam, and Southern Dutchess counties. They offer septic cleaning, inspections, cesspool maintenance, and grease trap cleaning. With more than eight years of experience, the team works hard to provide efficient and affordable service while building lifelong relationships with customers. To request service or learn more about offerings, call (845) 621-0250.