Five Things Managers Should Know About Sewer Odors

February 27, 2017

Many schools and commercial facilities are impacted by what is typically known as sewer odors. This is an odor problem that can be worse in areas of a facility that are used infrequently.
However, many building managers don't know what causes sewer odors in a building. So, to bring them up to speed, Waterless Co., which manufacturers drain and pipe care products, presents "Five Things Everyone Should Know About Sewer Odors."
What causes sewer odors?
Sewer odors are the result of gases that contain such compounds as hydrogen sulfide, ammonia, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, and hydrogen.
Why do sewer odors smell so bad?
Hydrogen sulfide is usually the chief cause of the odors, along with ammonia.
How do sewer odor gases get inside a building? 
The most common way these gases get into buildings is through dried out floor and fixture drains. The following are the most common routes:

* A blocked vent. Every facility has a vent system specifically for the plumbing in the building. If this venting is blocked, odors can't be released outside and build up inside the building.

* A damaged drain line. In some cases, the drain line may develop a crack or be broken. This can cause sewage to be released under or in the facility instead of being carried away, releasing odors. 

* A dry trap. This is the most common cause of sewer odors. A trap is the U-shaped pipe or tubing, which connects the drain to the sewer line. If the water held in the trap dries out, it releases odors into the building.

What should we do if we detect sewer odors in our building?
Take the easiest and least expensive steps first. If the odors are coming from a drain, pour about half a gallon of water down the drain and wait a day or two. If the odors dissipate, it indicates that the trap was dry.

However, this is a temporary fix. The trap will likely become dry again very soon. To address this, use a drain trap liquid to keep the trap filled for months, if not years. This will eliminate the odors associated with a dry trap.

If adding drain trap liquid does not solve the problem, cleaning the drain might help. This will remove bacteria, which may be causing the odor.

Finally, if sewer odors still persist, a plumber should be called in to investigate. A crack may have developed in the drain line, and this can be repaired only by a plumbing professional.
See the latest posts on our homepage


Topic Area: Press Release

Recent Posts
Recent Posts

How healthcare facilities can reduce the risk of patient exposure to Legionella

Legionnaires’ disease cases have gone up by 400 percent in the last 14 years


Two-fifths of private hospitals in England are failing safety standards

Inspections by the Care Quality Commission raise concerns over the safety and leadership


Focus: Energy Efficiency

Healthcare stewardship means going ‘green’

Being 'green' in a healthcare facility is more complicated than a typical business


Focus: Energy Efficiency

Healthcare facilities' energy efficiency improves air quality

Salt Lake City Op-Ed says healthcare facilities' energy efficiency efforts can impact community health


CME to Provide Exclusive Biomedical Services to CNECT Members


Post Comment


• News and Updates
• Webcast Alerts
• Building Technologies

All fields are required.