As organic waste decomposes in septic or sewer systems, it gives off gasses. These can include hydrogen sulfide, a toxic chemical that interferes with the body’s oxygen system. At high concentrations, it can cause a wide range of symptoms, including vomiting and death. Other gases that may be present are methane and carbon dioxide, both greenhouse gases and ammonia, which is used in many cleaning products but can be dangerous at high levels.
sewer gas detection can pick up these poisonous gasses and alert workers to their presence. These sensors are usually hand-held devices that use different technologies to detect the presence of these gasses. Some use infrared sensors, while others work by detecting electrochemical reactions of the gasses with specific chemicals. In addition, there are some detectors that can be paired with combustible gas leak detection to provide dual detection of both methane and hydrogen sulfide.
Protecting Your Health: The Importance of Sewer Gas Detection Systems
A simple and affordable way to test for sewer gas is to check a home’s drain traps. A faulty trap allows the sewer gas to enter the house, while a fully functioning one creates an unbroken seal throughout its length and vents gas to the outside. If the rotten egg smell is present, it’s a good idea to call in a professional pipefitter for a thorough inspection.
Leaks in a home’s slab foundation can also cause sewer gas. These are harder to identify because the odor of sewage is very similar to that of natural gas. Your pipefitter can test for these by blocking all the drain vents and then blowing smoke through them. The locations where the smoke remains are where there are leaking pipes, and they can be fixed with a quick and inexpensive relining.