Sewer Gas exposure through vent pipes on roof


I live in a unit at the top of a walk-up apartment building (5 stories). I have access to the roof terrace as it is connected to my unit. There are several vents on the roof, naturally, yet I wonder if they pose a health risk to myself and my family given that sewer gas comes out into the air here and we are there to smell it. I can hear the flushing of toilets through each individual vent pipe and from time to time the smell of sewer gas (methane etc.) Can I assume that the concentration is too minute to affect us especially given that it is in the open air?

Thank you very much,


Hi Nick

In regards to your question, there are a number of complexities in regards to how diluted the fumes/smells etc may be on your roof deck.

Most building standards that I’m aware of require the vents to terminate at least 7’ above a roof used as a deck, likely due in part to your question. has an article that is related to your question, feel free to take a look