Why is there a sewer odor in my building?

The most common cause of sewer gas smell is a dry water seal.  Each drain contains a u-shaped pipe that traps a small amount of water to form a seal against sewer gasses rising into buildings.  Drains that are seldom used can have this water evaporate over time allowing vapors to enter through the open piping.  Pouring water down drains, including floor drains, can stop this problem.  Non-toxic antifreeze, which is slower to evaporate, can also be used to vapor seal unused drains for longer periods. At time, sewer pipe venting located on a roof may become clogged or block (nests, bee hives, snow, etc) and this may cause sewer odor in a home or business.

Show All Answers

1. Why should I care what goes down the drain?
2. How do I report a sewer overflow?
3. How can I prevent sewer overflows?
4. What can happen if I put prohibited items down the drain?
5. What’s OK for households to discharge?
6. I have a restaurant. How can I control grease in my wastewater?
7. My restaurant has a grease interceptor, what should I do to maintain it?
8. Why is there a sewer odor in my building?
9. What causes a sewer back up?
10. Where is the Town's Wastewater Plant located?
11. How do wastewater treatment plants work and why are they important?