Sewer smell after rain

We had a heavy rain last night and woke up to an awful sewer smell upstairs and it was almost unbearable to even breathe in the basement. We have a septic tank that was just emptied late August. Second time since we moved into house. When it was emptied the last time, there was a very slight smell after the first couple of rainfalls but we have not had a problem since until this morning. The smell was almost gone by early evening upstairs. Do not know anything about septic systems except we were told that we have to empty it at least every couple of years which we have done. Other than that, there is nothing to look after. Were we told wrong? We live in Canada in case cold weather may be a factor. I searched the basement and can see no leakage anywhere. There was very little smell outside and that could have come from our open windows. The smell was strongest near where the tank pipes come into the basement. The ground over the tilebed did not appear to be any wetter than after any other rainfall. Any ideas what is the cause and how to fix it?
Thanks for any help
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Carl D wrote:

Look for a floor drain in the basement. If there is one, the trap may have become dry. Pour a bucket of water into the drain every few months.
Not sure what connection the rain has unless downspouts/footer drains are connected perhaps to a floor drain (and not to the septic). Finding the origin of the odor in the basement will be the biggest clue.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

Thanks for the reply. If you are talking about a floor drain that city houses have, we don't have one.
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Carl D wrote:

OK. What else is in the basement? Washing machine drain? Or a sink it drains into? Check that there is in fact a trap provided.
Any chance it could be an animal smell? I've been fooled a couple of times by the skunks around here.
Was it windy during the rain? It could be a function of wind rather than water.
Jim
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Speedy Jim wrote:

There is nothing downstairs except all the pipes from the sinks, toilets, washing machine, etc. upstairs that lead to the septic tank. The smell was strongest right near where the pipes go through the exterior wall out to the septic tank. There is no apparent leaks. An animal smell would be stronger outside. I don't know if it was windy because it rained during the night and we just woke up to the smell.
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On 11/30/2004 12:58 PM US(ET), Carl D took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

my former neighbor had a similar problem and I could smell it from my house. It seems his leach fields were in a low area of the back yard and the yard was kinda like a shallow bowl. When it rained hard, the rainwater pooled over the fields and perhaps it mixed with and diluted the underground septic water to where it was all one big swamp. I never saw any construction going on in his yard, and I haven't smelled it in years, so I don't know what, if anything, he did. New neighbors live there now. Don't know if it makes any difference, but there were 5 adults in that house before (parents + 3 older girls), now there are only 2 adults and 2 young kids. You might want to call in a septic company to check out the condition of your tank and fields.
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willshak wrote:

Nothing has changed around here for it to start smelling and the tilebed was not any more wet than anywhere else. It was inside the house not really outside. I just would think if it was something like the tank or tilebed it would have developed over time not so suddenly. Three kids in school here, I can't afford to have everything ripped up right now so I hope it isn't anything major.
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Carl D wrote:

Change your diet....
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On Tue, 30 Nov 2004 02:14:18 -0500, Carl D

Do you have a sump pump? We had the same type of problem - smell in the house with heavy rain, but not outside. It turned out that the sump pump was pulling in water from the leaching field, and it doesn't take much sewage to create a horrible smell.
Good Luck.
Jennifer
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snipped-for-privacy@mindspring.com wrote:

No sump pump. Other than when we first had the tank emptied, there has not been any smell at all after a rain.
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