What are Sewage Waste and Sewer Gas?

When unpleasant odors are noticed in properties the source of the problem is not always readily apparent.  Two common sources of unpleasant odors in buildings include off-gassing from mold and improperly vented sewer gas.  Both problems can be fixed, but only after the source is identified.

Sewer gas is primarily methane, but can include a host of other gases that may include ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, carbon dioxide and other substances.  They are a normal part of modern septic systems, but their presence in indoor environments is not.  Sewer gas causes not only sewage odor, but can also be dangerous to occupant’s health and in extreme situations could be a fire hazard.

What Are the Preventions and Effects of Sewage Waste-Related Sewage Odor?

Usually plumbing traps and vents in modern septic systems prevent sewer gas from entering structures, but these can malfunction.  Also for buildings with HVAC systems that bring outdoor air into the structure, if that are placed too close to septic systems vents, they can pull escaping sewer gas back into a building.  Exposure to sewage waste-related sewage odor can cause respiratory irritation and other negative health effects.

If you notice sewage odor as a result of sewage gas or sewage waste, seek the advice of a plumbing professional and an air quality testing expert.