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Causes of Sewer Odour in Commercial Establishments

20 March 2020

The cleanliness and hygiene of commercial establishments are necessary to the successful flow of business operations. Consequently, any threat to its sanitation and hygiene can be detrimental to the health of workers and condition of business. That is why it is necessary to curb all issues no matter how big or small, as soon as possible; for instance, sewer odour. This must be nipped in the bud before it causes any further damages. And in order to resolve this, the root causes must be first identified. Below are the causes of sewer odour in commercial establishments.

Dried P-Traps in Uninhabited Areas

Large facilities may have sections that are no longer used or have been sealed off. If there are drains in these areas still connected to the main sewage system, sewer gas can escape up through the drains and waft into the space. The p-traps in these drains (the curved section directly underneath the drain) will have dried out and removed a barrier from the movement of sewer gas. It is highly recommended to have plumbers seal up the pipes with cement.

Leaky Sewer Vents or Improperly Installed Vents

Sewer vents allow the build-up of sewer gas in the drainage system to rise and escape through the roof, balancing the pressure. If leaks develop along the sewer vent pipes, it will allow the sewer gas to enter rooms through the walls. It requires plumbers using leak detection methods to find the precise location of the leaks so they can be accessed and sealed or repiped. If the drain vents were not installed correctly (the wrong pipe diameter, for example), poor venting will result in sewer gas rising from drains. Plumbers will need to replace the sewer vents with the properly sized pipes.

Clogged Pumping Vents

Damage to the vents, animal nests, or storm damage may clog the vent openings. This will push the sewer gas back down into the drainpipes and up through drains. You may notice a gurgling sound coming from drains; this indicates sewer gas percolating through the water barrier in the p-traps.

Clogged Sewer or Septic Lines

The sewer line or septic line if your facility uses a septic tank may become clogged with debris or tree root infiltration, leading to a backup in the line that will affect the whole building. Foul odour is often the first warning sign of a major issue like this. Professional sewer line cleaning or repair is necessary to fix the issue. In extreme cases, the sewer line may need to be replaced.

If you see any of these signs in your commercial establishments, do not hesitate to call LC Harding Plumbing. We are known to work with some of Melbourne’s largest companies as a licensed and registered Master Plumber for complete Commercial and Industrial Plumbing Services. We are known for our versatility and we can assist with a diverse range of services with our team of qualified licensed and insured tradesmen.