I live in an apartment building where the building is built on a concrete slab. There is NO overhead drain pipes or gutters and the water pools up along the side of the building next to my living room and bedroom areas. Management does not seem interested in fixing the issue and nothing I have tried inside has helped with the odor. It is worse after rain and in the evenings when it is damp outside. It is causing me some serious issues with nausea since I am sensitive to smells anyhow. Is there ANYTHING that I can use to put alongside the outside of the building where it pools and goes under the slab to remove the smell? Lime, chemical ? if so what??? I am desperate to clear this up, as I can NOT afford to move, but am willing to do whatever needed. Any and all ideas are welcome.. Thank you


What is the geology of the area you are in. I am assuming the ground is fairly flat since you imply the water outside is causing the inside to have a smell.

If you have access to the ground / yard, you could dig a rock pit. Dig a pit, put filter fabric to line the pit and fill it with rock, then put the grass back on top. This gives the water an easy place to drain away - depending on how much water and how quickly water drains through soil back into the aquifer it could help.

Do you have carpets? What is your flooring type over the concrete?

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  • The area is flat, slab concrete, carpet was put in 2 yrs ago. Complex was built on top of swamp area, still have wetlands behind the complex. The rain makes smell worse. I tried industrial bleach, moth flakes along base of the building but nothing seems to work. I was looking into LIme, but do not know what kind to purchase to kill odors. Not able to do landscaping or digging. complex rules.. :-( so I have to find a solution that will be able to be put down on top of the grass and area where the water drips off the roof.. Thank you. – M Talarico Jun 1 '19 at 19:17

I’d guess there is a sewage problem that occurs when it rains. (Rain will cause septic tanks to overflow, or cause waste to spew out a broken pipe, etc. and could flood to the surface.)

Instead of you trying to fix the problem, I’d take a small glass jar, clean and sterilize it, take a sample, give it to a local lab (you can contact the DEQ or local sanitary department for name and address of suitable lab), and then have them test for “fecal matter”.

If it tests positive, I’d give it to your landlord. If he refuses to do anything, I’d give the results to the local DEQ office, health department, etc.

If it tests negative, then I’d contact a local geologist, perhaps at a nearby college, to see if there is something in the soil that smells when it rains.

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  • Thank you, it doesn't smell like sewage, more a musty, moldy smell and sometimes a dirt smell. :-( It permeates inside the 2 rooms where the water falls against the side of the building. Thank you. – M Talarico Jun 1 '19 at 19:09

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