Oh poo! Is your sewage system giving off nasty odours?

Avoid bad smells and blockages in a few simple steps

We know that sewage isn’t the most glamorous of topics, but the last thing you want is to ignore it altogether and find yourself frequently faced with bad smells and system breakdowns. It’s important to understand how the sewage system your home is connected to works and what you can do to keep it happy.

If your home is connected to a nearby sewage treatment plant (STP) it is because it couldn’t connect to the main sewage system in your area. The way it works is actually quite simple – the system allows air to circulate around the sewage, encouraging the growth of bacteria.

This bacteria is really important because it helps to disintegrate all the wastewater and sewage your house produces (think showers, toilets, dishwashers and sinks etc). If this bacteria gets killed, by substances such as chemicals and antibacterial products, then the system won’t work properly – which could lead to nasty odours and your system breaking down.

How to keep your sewage system happy 

Here are a few simple steps you can take to avoid bad smells and breakdowns:

  • Use detergents that don’t contain any phosphates, as these kill the important bacteria in your STP. We recommend Ecover’s cleaning and laundry products, which you can buy in all major supermarkets or online at ecover.com or amazon.co.uk.
  • Use liquids instead of powders when doing your laundry or using the dishwasher.
  • Spread your laundry throughout the week, rather than saving it all until ‘washing day’.

What not to put in your sewage system 

We know that keeping things clean and washing your hands is especially important at the moment, but harsh chemicals and food waste can damage your sewage system. To stop blockages, make sure you don’t put any of the below items down your sinks or toilets:

  • Medicines, such as antibiotics
  • Chemicals, such as antifreeze and weed killer or large amounts of bleach and detergents
  • Antibacterial toilet freshener blocks
  • Paint thinners or brush cleaner
  • Sanitary items, nappies, wet wipes, and cotton wool
  • Oil, milk, and other liquids used in cooking

You also need to make sure you don't:

  • Allow a hot tub or spa to discharge into your STP. The volume of water will flush untreated sewage through your unit and the chlorine will kill the bacteria in the unit.
  • Connect a water softener outlet to the foul drains. The salts involved will kill all the bacteria in the unit.
  • Connect any surface water or roof drains to your STP.
  • Run the condensate from condensing boilers into your sewage system as it is too acidic.
  • Allow any unqualified person to tamper with the unit, that includes yourself. 

If you have any other questions regarding your sewage system please contact us. 

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