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Country Discussion Topics
To add your comments to this topic, click on one of the 'Reply' links below.

Septic Pond Smell
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David Stovall    Posted 04-01-2002 at 12:18:32       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Is there anything I can do to reduce the smell coming off my septic pond? Are there any pond additives that wouldn't impact the tank itself? My tank/lines/pond are all new and all seems to be working as designed. Any ideas would be appreciated.


Gooneybird    Posted 02-05-2009 at 09:57:25       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Go to for clean air and clean outdoor water

Rich O    Posted 04-03-2002 at 09:08:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I found this information sometime back it may be of some use.

Rich O

The AIRR (Alternating Intermittent Recirculating Reactor) system is a
breakthrough in blackwater systems, and is an innovative alternative for
the conventional drainfield.
Because it is actually designed to treat blackwater (toilet water), it most
definitely will handle greywater, particularly when combined with low-flush
composting toilets.
Approved by the state of Washington as a standard reciruclating sand
it solves
some perk problems by turning sewer effluent into reusable water
biologically and with
no offensive odor. The treated water is many times clearer than EPA
standards. This clear sparkling water is suitable for futher processing and
for recycling and re-use in non-potable applications. The AIRR clear water
can be discharged underground into drainfields, or into salt water, streams
and rivers, or can be used to irrigate golf courses, parks, ski resorts,
forests or farm land. The system consists of a septic/dosing tank, a
biological reactor containing both secondary and tertiary sections, a
simple cover structure, a recirculating tank and a discharge tank or pipe;
circuit board control is an option. The size of the reactor depends on the
amount of gallons that need to be processed per day. The reactor's size is
based on five gallons per square foot per day. An AIRR system can be
designed for a single residence or an entire community.
The AIRR system has many features. One is low maintenance. Regular septic
tank pumping, periodic visual inspection of the sprinkler heads and pumps,
and normal routine maintenance of the cover structure is all that is
needed. Other features include low construction cost for both new and
repair systems, energy efficient low power consumption, adjustability to
peak loading or idling, it can replace or upgrade old or failed systems
that do not meet current discharge standards, and the system can be
expanded and added onto to meet new volume requirements. So why doesn't
everyone with problem soils use an AIRR system? It's like a miniature
sewage treatment plant with tertiary treatment! Because most counties still
insist on subsurface disposal of all water, whether gray or black. This
means that most counties still insist that a drainfield, mound system, sand
filter, or leach field be installed, regardless of the water's cleanliness,
for single-family residences. If the system is used by a community and a
maintenance person supervises its operation, then the state will permit
discharge into existing waterways in most areas. Having been producing
excellent results since 1977, the AIRR manufacturers claim that drainfields
could be reduced by 90% down to only 10% of the normal requirements, but
the state is not yet convinced. In other words, some counties do not trust
the individual homeowner to maintain such a system properly. The AIRR
system is made in Washington.
The first question that comes with the topic of waterless toilets is whe
ther or not a drainfield is still necessary. The logical answer is no, but
the legal answer is yes.
Graywater-sink, shower, bath and laundry water-must be disposed of beneath
the surface of the soil, unless you can think of an inexpensive way to
evaporate it. (If you do, call me.) Although in the soil few viruses can
survive very long since it is cold, the distance between grains of sand are
great, and there are predators that eat viruses, still viruses can travel
up to three feet from the source in dry soil; however, when transported in
water, viruses have been detected thirty feet from the source and can even
go farther.
Consequently, in order to prevent the health hazards presented by contact
with viruses, pathogens and bacteria, graywater must be disposed of in a
drainfield, mound system or an approved leach field at least one hundred
feet from any water-pond, lake, house, stream, well, beach, etc. In 1977
the state of Washington put out a set of guidelines approving composting
toilets and allowing with their use a reduction of the septic tank size by
fifty percent and of the drainfield size by forty percent. The size of a
drainfield is determined by the number of bedrooms in the house, with each
bedroom representing two full-time users. The current state guidelines are
even more versed in the application of alternative systems. Ask DSHS in
Olympia for a copy. If you run into a political obstacle in your area,
there are, remember, exceptions to everything and variants can be applied

Create an Oasis with Greywater by Art Ludwig, revised Feb. 2000
Building Professional's Greywater Guide by Art Ludwig, revised 1999
Greywater Guide: Using Greywater in Your Home Landscape by CA Dept. of
Resources, 1994
P.O. Box 942836, Sacramento, CA 94236
Solviva: How to Grow $500,000 on One Acre by Anna Edey This book, written
by Anna Edey in the late 1990's discusses greywater use within a greenhouse
See, or write to
Solviva Solar-Dynamic Bio-Benign Design, RSD 1, Box 582, Vineyard Haven,
Mass 02568
Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates by Robert Kourik, 1992
Domestic Greywater Reuse: Overseas Practice and it's Applicability to
Australia by Barry Jeppesen
& David Solley, 1994, Urban Water Research Association, Melbourne Water,
Box 4342
Melbourned 3001 AUSTRALIA
Geoflow Subsurface Dripline Design & Installation manual for Small Systems,
Grey Water Use in the Home Garden from the Farallone Institute, 1978
Integral Urban House, 1516 Fifth St., Berkeley, CA 94710
OR: The Rural Center, 15290 Coleman Valley Rd., Occidental, CA 95465

If you need more infomation, require consultation, would like to see a
functioning unit, or want more literature, please contact me on either my
Seattle line at (206) 324-5055, or on my Whidbey line at (360) 730-7992.
Your decision to obtain and use any of these alternative systems is a
necessary step toward the future direction of the entire concept of "waste
disposal." You are welcome to make an appointment to visit my own personal
Clivus Multrum, CTS, electric car, organic garden, solar collectors,
compact flourescent lights, windmill, and water purifiers, in my home built
of recycled materials. I am a long-term, dependable, committed proponent
for these and other appropriate technological solutions to a more sensible,
aware, and vitally improved lifestyle. Join me and let's improve the world
one more way.
Pick up your phone and call me today:
(206) 324-5055 / (360) 730-7992
Dean Petrich
The INFILTRATOR with micro-leaching chambers is an effective improvement
over standard gravel and pipe drainfields. The infiltrator units measure
3'x6'x1', weigh about 30 pounds, are available in 12" or 15" depth, and can
store 66 gallons (standard) or 110 gallons (high capacity infiltrator);
this storage volume is three or more times greater than a gravel trench.
These sections fasten together with self-drilling screws, and the entire
system can be delivered in one pickup truck and installed by one person
with a backhoe, level and rake. The entire bottom of the trench provides a
perfect unmasked infiltrative surface, the side wall is designed to
minimize the masking effect, there is no vertical silt intrusion, and the
micro-leaching chambers create voids for optimal biomat formation and the
1/4" slots provide open area equal to the porosity of the sides of a gravel
These structurally tested infiltrators are great for drain fields, mounds,
pressure systems, and storm water management. They are made in Connecticut,
and are locally available.

"the valve that robt warren touts is available from Johnstone Supply for
$229.00. it is a robertshaw water regulating valve and the part number is
nsv47ab-4. I thought of doing what robt warren is doing and considered
advertising them for an extra $100, but how would that make a guy feel?"

John - NY    Posted 04-03-2002 at 08:27:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
I know the type of septic system you're talking about. We have one and it works well, but occasionally it has an odor. Luckily the prevailing winds blow away from the residence. It's called a lagoon system. They were approved more commonly in rural areas in the '70's, but have generally been discontinued in our area. They were rectangular ponds built according to the outflow of the residence(s), with diversion ditches to prevent runoff water from entering the system. I've never dealt with the odor issue, so I'm sorry to say I can't help you with that - wish I could!

Kathy    Posted 04-01-2002 at 21:33:47       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Could we know it by another name, maybe cess pool?
I too have never heard of a septic pond but I remember some of the older properties had cess pools. Or did you mean leach bed,drain field?
I think we all want to help, we just don't know what type of set up you have.
Peace, Kathy

David Stovall    Posted 04-02-2002 at 09:45:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
You all are obviously not from the mid-west area. Septic ponds are also called evaporation ponds and/or lagoons. Evaporation pond may be a better fit though. They are extremely common.

In regions where soil absorption is low, the tank captures the solids and liquid overflows 100+ feet away from the residence into a 20ft or so diameter pond where it evaporates naturally. If all is sized correctly, it never overflows, even during heavy rains.

However, it does smell a bit. I have heard of people treating the pond directly. I was just soliciting ideas. Thanks anyway.

Kathy Aldridge    Posted 04-02-2002 at 13:32:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
David, I was raised in Michigan & lived in Wisconsin for 18 yrs , which are both midwestern but neither area had the type of set up you describe. Is this something fairly new? I'm really interested because we still own the farm in Wisconsin & know if we move back we'll need a new drain field. The Electric company drove over ours about 6 mos ago, luckily the house is not occupied so until we go back no problem. Did you need a special permit or is this the new 'standard' for drainage? The states are always inplementing new regulations, so I was just wondering. Thanks for any info.:)
As for the smell you are noticing, I don't know if this would work for your problem but I do know that barn lime will eliminate odors. We use alot of it in barns,chicken coops, etc & have no odors.
Since it sounds like this is just liquid that will evaporate, the lime shouldn't affect the system but you might ask at the Extension Office or a septic installer before trying it. I wish I could be of more help.

Salmoneye    Posted 04-02-2002 at 09:58:55       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The only places I have ever seen what you are describing is industrial use or sewage treatment plants. There is usually an 'aerator' of some type either an actual bubbler or a pump that sprays the water into the air a few feet to make it splash and get air in the water that way.
The more oxygen you have in that water, the more it 'works', and the less it smells

These systems often overflow in our area.
You must have one heck of a water usage to warrant such a system for a residential purpose...

Ludwig - well    Posted 04-02-2002 at 13:34:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
That or really clayey soil, or ledge. Around
here though you'd just say it wouldn't perk and
make one of those sand and pea stone

I'd think with a pond you'd have to have some
work to keep animals and kids out of it.
Though if it smelled bad enough kids wouldn't
play with it, but might throw stuff in(old cars
come to mind)

Seems like it would use up a whole lot of land
you could do something else on though. With
the amount of rain we get even here in New
England it'd need to be dammed big to keep
the spring rains from flooding it.

Dennis    Posted 04-01-2002 at 19:24:24       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hi David,
I also do not know what a septic pond is. Is it really and open pond and if so what happens when it rains?

Ludwig    Posted 04-02-2002 at 09:27:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hi Dennis,

I was thinking nearly the same thing. Can you
imagine in flood season with that sort of a
pond creeping closer to the house?
Ugh, never mind, I don't want to think about it.

Donna    Posted 04-01-2002 at 13:59:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Depending on what size you have.~
I add 15 packs of yeast, we have a 1000 gal.septic
tank, disolve the yeast in warm water then flush it down your tolet, you will have to adjust it to suit your needs, more or less packets, I use out dated yeast, I can find plenty of them at our local flea markets, you might ask the store manager if you can have the old out dated packets,
you will have to work out what ever deal suits you and the manager,

Ludwig    Posted 04-01-2002 at 13:28:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Septic pond? I have no idea what that means,
but I'd guess that anywhere you've got
standing septic its gonna stink. Its septic after

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