Septic vents through riser???


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Old 01-25-16, 03:34 PM
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Septic vents through riser???

All,

Just bought a house in VT and starting getting a bad odor in the yard when septic is in use. Here is the rundown of the setup:

Plastic tank with level grade risers (2). Drains to a community leach field. It appears the tank is designed to vent through the riser lid (not fully sealed).

Septic inspection revealed a well functioning system with no obvious problems. Tank was pumped in October. No leakage, no backups.

My question: why oh why would a septic tank be designed to vent though the riser? Don't they usually vent though the plumbing vent in the roof? Is it possible I don't have a roof vent at all and the whole system vents though the septic tank? Most people I have talked to have never heard of a tank that vents directly at the riser. If I seal the riser with rubber of some kind will that cause a problem with the system (i.e. will gasses be pushed back into the house?)


is it possible all i need to do is add more bacteria?

Any insight would be really helpful.

thanks,

Alex
 
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Old 01-25-16, 03:43 PM
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I don't have a roof vent at all and the whole system vents though the septic tank? Most people I have talked to have never heard of a tank that vents directly at the riser. If I seal the riser with rubber of some kind will that cause a problem with the system (i.e. will gasses be pushed back into the house?)


is it possible all i need to do is add more bacteria?
They are probably service ports and could be sealed.. Pics would help..

You must have a vent on your roof.. If you don't see one then that's a bigger issue then your septic problem...

No gases will not be pushed back. You must have a vent /stack on the roof..

Dont add any bacteria.. You will make things worse.. No bacteria is needed for a funtioning septic system..


Drains to a community leach field.
This is an issue IMO.. Explain how many homes use this community field? How big is the field? And what type of field?

Oh and welcome to the forums....
 
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Old 01-25-16, 04:13 PM
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Thanks lawrosa

There is a metal pipe coming out of the roof, but its on the opposite side of the house to the septic tank. My property manager told me the septic tank does not vent through the roof, which after some research I can't figure out how that could be possible (house was built in 1984 but the tank is new within the last 10 years). He said it has a house trap system instead and suggested we seal the riser vent and build a new roof vent that goes up the side of the house. I am not sure he knows what he is talking about so I am looking for a second opinion.

The community leach field services 70 or so homes i believe although I am not sure if all of them are connected to the same system. I am a beginner at this so I don't know what type of field it is. Looks like its 150ft long or so. I am 95% sure the smell is coming from the riser and not the leach field or the pipe on the roof.

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Old 01-25-16, 04:31 PM
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he said it has a house trap system instead
Ahhhh... Could be.. But not usual for septic systems.. House traps were used on public sewers with high methane levels.. And used many years before the 80's.. Some towns still require them..

But again never seen them used for septics... You may have been mis informed...

Look for one on your home then.. You should see two close clean outs somewhere in floor or house trap may be at wall level..

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Better yet...

Go to the local health department and tell them you want the plans for the installed septic system for your development.. They should have all diagrams and such.. Start there.. Dont tell them there is an issue, just say you want to know where everything is...



If you ever pump your tank and water comes back into the tank from the field, then the field is an issue.. I doubt 70 homes share a field..

But the health department will tell you..

Post back what you find.. I am very interested...
 
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Old 01-25-16, 04:50 PM
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Thanks Lawrosa,
I won't be back at the house until this weekend, but will check the crawlspace for cleanouts and let you know what i find. Much appreciated.
 
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Old 02-01-16, 06:05 AM
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Lawrosa,

There is house trap in the crawlspace under the house, it is just on the other side of the wall from the septic tank, so it definitely blocks any venting through the house plumbing system.

I also discovered that our tank flows down the hill 150ft to a pump house tank, where it is then pumped up to the leach field. the pump house has a pipe vent right there. One theory is that under some conditions the air in the tank at the pump house would run uphill through the pipe to our tank. because the covers are not sealed tightly the air from the pump house is venting there.

Our tank has two compartments and two risers. There are two parts to the cover for each riser. The wider cover sits on top of the riser much like the lid of a trashcan but does not fit perfectly so there is a 1 inch gap where air can escape. The middle part of the cover can screws on and off and seems to seal pretty tight.

Our plan is to seal the other trashcan type lid with a caulking gun or tar. The question remains, do we need to remove the house trap to let the system vent from the roof? I am a bit worried that if we are in fact getting gas from the pump house letting it go through the house might cause even bigger problems.

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Old 02-01-16, 06:09 AM
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I am having some trouble uploading all the pictures, but here is the cover with the middle part of the lid unscrewed.
 
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Old 02-09-16, 02:52 PM
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Can you take a picture higher up so I can see more of the trap?

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Is this pic the outlet side?Looks like some filter media in that square part maybe?

 
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