How to Get Rid of Foul Sewer Smells & Remove Methane Gas Odors
The gases produced by sewers are a very complex mixture of a lot of different gases. They can consist of both nontoxic and toxic gas that was produced in the sewer due to the decomposition of industrial waste or organic waste.
There are a lot of gases that you will find in typical sewer gases, including sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, methane, esters, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide. When combined, they can create a very noxious and memorable odor. In addition, when people improperly dispose of certain items containing petroleum, such as mineral spirits and gasoline, they will make the odor even worse. People are constantly wondering how to eliminate sewer odor because it has effects on people’s health, smells bad, and can potentially cause an explosion or a fire due to the gases that are present.
While people have worked hard to be able to restrict the entrance of sewer gas into buildings through plumbing traps, this means that the gas will exhaust outdoors.
Can You Eliminate Sewer Gas?
Using a water seal where the gas may try to enter a building and making sure to vent the gas outside will help to protect a building from being filled with this gas. Sometimes, however, plumbing fixtures that aren’t used very often will allow these gases to enter the home. Traps can dry out, especially in summer months and will let the gas enter. The most common culprits for this problem are floor drains, infrequently used restrooms and sinks, and even showers. Using trap primers that will add water to traps to help block the movement of gas is important. Additionally, water seals can fail because of blocked plumbing vents.
Sewer gas doesn’t have to come through an open trap – it can also seep in through a leak in a vent pipe or plumbing drain. Foundation cracks under a building may be large enough for the sewer gas to leak in. While denser than atmospheric gases, sewer gas can mix with the air and move up instead of being trapped in the basement. Cleaning septic or manure storage tanks will put people at high risk of exposure to sewer gas.
When plumbing vents are placed too close to windows or air intakes of an HVAC system, it is easy for these gas odors to enter a building. Even the wind can help to blow this gas towards and into a building, making it difficult to control and leaving many people wondering how to get rid of sewer odor.
While sewer gas in homes is unpleasant, it is not terribly harmful to a person’s health. Not only does sewer gas contain the gases in the air, it also contains methane, but it is usually at a nontoxic level. The “rotten egg” smell of sewer gas indicates the presence of hydrogen sulfide content, which can cause some health problems, including eye irritation, a sore throat, and dizziness, among other issues. Prolonged exposure can lead to headaches, fatigue, and pneumonia, while higher concentrations can actually lead to loss of consciousness and even death.
Methane and hydrogen sulfide are explosive and highly flammable. Any flames near these gases can cause them to ignite, which is why caution is necessary if you are working in an area that has these gases.
Plumbing Vents & Sewer Gas
When sewer gases are fully vented they will actually contribute to greenhouse emissions. It’s a good idea to use a septic vent pipe that can remove some of the odors.
Some people are considering using sewer gas as a source of power, which would reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. By piping the gas into a cleaning system, it can be used to power a generator or even a CHP (heat and power plant).
The Hidden Threat Behind Sewer Smells & Odors
Beyond just smelling bad, some gases that are present in sewage can negatively affect the durability of certain materials. Microorganisms in the gas can result in corrosion. Hydrogen sulfide can actually cause microbial corrosion or sulfide corrosion. When exposure is high and prolonged, this can result in a structure collapsing. It’s best, when you are worried about how to get rid of methane gas, that you consider the benefits of Odorox/Pyure hydroxyl processors, as they can decompose the organic gases and make sure that the space is clean, fresh, and safe.
I have to let you know how happy we are with the results we achieved with the use of ODOROX HYDROXYL.
Being in the fire restoration business, we come across many unusual odors. In the past, we have relied a great deal on Ozone Technology to deal with these problems. One particular odor we have come across a number of times throughout the years is home heating oil. It is one of the most difficult odors to remove.
After purchasing the ODOROX equipment, we set it up in a residential basement. After two days, there was a noticeable reduction in odor and after five days, the odor was completely gone. This impressed not only myself, but the homeowner, oil company, and the environmental engineer sent to monitor the air quality.
The equipment seemed expensive after being purchased, however the results were great. I definitely recommend the use of ODOROX HYDROXYL Technology.
EMS Restoration Corp
EMS Restoration Corp
On March 22, I received a phone call from the President and chief mechanic at Infinity Air in Nashua, NH. They explained to me that they had a large fire in one of their airplane hangars. The fire had destroyed one airplane and the intense smoke and soot had penetrated a brand new Mooney Acclaim Type S aircraft. The owner of the smoke damaged Mooney who had stored his airplane in the hangar was beside himself and insistent on having the carpets, interior liners, leather seats, and flight instruments completely removed and rebuilt back to the original condition because he felt the smoke odors and residue would never fully be gone from his prized airplane (estimated cost was $25,000.00).
After several conversations with the demanding plane owner the airport personnel had calmed him down enough to agree to try and clean the aircraft before just 'gutting' it. They had called two cleaning companies before calling Allpro. Both companies stated they could clean the aircraft and rid the plane of odor. Their estimates to restore the aircraft were significantly higher.
When Infinity air had called me and told me all this information I had only one question for them 'How do the two other companies plan to attack the smoke odor inside the aircraft?'
The chief mechanic told me 'They plan on thoroughly cleaning the aircraft by hand then installing an ozone machine inside the cabin to eradicate and residual odors.' As you know ozone has been known to deteriorate plastics and rubber.
I was very adamant with the staff at infinity air NOT to let anyone deodorize an airplane with ozone. The last thing they need is an airplane with compromised rubber seals, fittings and gaskets.
They were so pleased that they called me because it was not explained to them by the other cleaning companies that ozone could affect the aircraft. They asked me how I would restore the airplane and I told them I would use soot sponges and neutral cleaners for the cleaning and then explained the Hydroxyl technology to them. They were amazed that this technology exist and were very impressed with my knowledge on how to properly clean an airplane. I told them I could completely restore the aircraft back to original condition for a fraction of the interior replacement cost and would guarantee the distraught owner of the plane would have no evidence of anything ever happening to his airplane.
Needless to say I was hired and 100% successful. Three days after the job was completed I called Infinity Air to get an update on the job. They couldn't say enough nice things about what we had accomplished and were even more amazed that the airplane had no evidence of soot or odor other than the 'new car' smell it had before the fire. The XL 3 and Boss systems are amazing and our number one tool now on all odor related jobs we do.
I have gotten nothing but rave reviews from adjusters who want to implement the Hydroxyl system on more restoration jobs.
Odorox hydroxyl technology destroys 99.9% of germs, bacteria, mold, mildew, voc's and viruses in the air and on porous and non-porous surfaces which can cause illness and infections. MDU/RX FDA approved and safe to use in spaces occupied by people, pets, and plants.