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 Post subject: Backyard Pet Urine Smell
PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 12:27 pm 
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We have 3 Weimaraners and no matter how much we water the back yard (sprinkler system comes on 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time) we still have a urine smell. We graveled the yard two years ago because the grass kept dying off. We would like to sit on the deck in the evening without the smell. Any suggestions??


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 12:59 pm 
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Location: Garland, Texas
Is the urine problem in the gravel area? Is there an underlayment beneath the gravel which would impede the drainage? I'm confused about the watering comment. I'm guessing you are not watering the gravel. Perhaps an application of zeolite or activated charcoal.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 1:06 pm 
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Mr. Clean wrote:
Is the urine problem in the gravel area? Is there an underlayment beneath the gravel which would impede the drainage? I'm confused about the watering comment. I'm guessing you are not watering the gravel. Perhaps an application of zeolite or activated charcoal.

We graveled our entire backyard over the dirt, we didn't even use a weed blocker, and we use the sprinkler system to wash off the gravel and water our plants. I'm willing to try anything.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 2:19 pm 
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Milton-
I would try some Orange TKO (orange oil). I just spoke with the manufacturer and he said it will get any smell out of carpet and fabric so he feels it will work with your gravel yard. I don't know where you live so I can't recommend an independent but if you are in Texas, every Lowe's stores has Orange TKO in a concentrate for less than 20 bucks. Just ask for the lawn and garden organic section. If it does not work outside for you, it's great for cleaning everything inside the house. Or, it's 100% guaranteed at Lowe's.
You should also think about putting some Zeolite down from time to time to absorb some of the urine. Also, You might check their diet with your vet to see why you seem to have a greater ordor than normal
Tony


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 3:39 pm 
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It sounds like the urine output has been going on for a while, so the soil below the gravel may be somewhat saturated, depending on what type of soil it is. I might start with a soil microbe application to try to stimulate biological breakdown activity. The brand names escape me, but maybe Actinovate or Bioform? Beyond that, I think I might try spraying Garrett Juice on the area and see if it speed the urea/ammonia digestion process. Failing that, I might try spraying an enzyme solution designed to eliminate pet urine odors, i.e., containing urease. The enzymes should work fairly fast if they are to work at all, and the GJ might take a little longer. I think vinegar might help also, so maybe you'd want to kick up the vinegar content in the GJ or maybe try a straight vinegar spray. Maybe you could test a small area to see how well any of it works before you get too carried away with volume or cost. I suppose I'd use those liquids (especially GJ) at higher strength than we would use them for plants, add plenty of sugar, lay them on fairly thick, and try not to wash them out for awhile. If the gravel is a porous material, it may have absorbed the urine, in which case it might be harder to get out of the rocks themselves (as opposed to the ground underneath). I doubt if this is likely under the circumstances, but is it possible that there's some cat spraying in the area? Since it's outside, you can be more aggressive than you might be in the house, so there may be more simple chemistry that would work. The soil satutation concerns me, though. If it's deep enough, bioremediation may be the best way. I'll think about it.


Last edited by Enzyme11 on Fri May 30, 2003 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 3:57 pm 
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Location: Garland, Texas
Milton A

Well, pat yourself on the back. Intentionally or not, you did the right thing by not putting down a weed blocker. I think if you had your odor problem would be greater than it is now.

I am puzzled by the remaining odor problem. Did you use pea gravel? Try one or more of the solutions offered here and let us know how it works out.

TonyM Did you talk to the Texas TKO distributor, or did you contact Canada? Do you know him personally, or did you just call. IMO Orange TKO is an awesome product. I have used it for years for just about every cleaning situation in the house, automotive, etc.

Enzyme11 Will the vinegar and urine smell cancel each other out? If you just replace the one with the other, the remaining smell may be as offensive as the original.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 5:28 pm 
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On reflection, I'm not sure any of the chemical or enzyme applications will be very practical if the soil is as saturated as it sounds. Saturating a carpet with a neutralizer is one thing; saturating 800 sq. ft. of soil 4-8" deep is another. If the urine contamination is spread throughout the yard, rather than in a concentrated area, the problem is magnified. The fact that there is gravel over the area kind of eliminates mechanical soil aeration as a tool, although the microbial biostimulant "aerators" still would seem to be a possibility.

I think I would consider building a small area with a hard/cleanable surface, trying to train the dogs to use that spot, cleaning it often, and then attacking the rest of the yard. Letting an area rest might let the smell subside on its own. As I think about it, elemental sulfur might be a better acidifier choice than vinegar for the non-fresh soil contamination if you want to try something like that. The acid-base effect would be stronger and the sulfur would not be volatile like the vinegar. The acid-base approach works on older deposits in which the urea has been released as ammonia so that the acid can neutralize the basic ammonia. It doesn't really work very well on fresh urine, which you would have a continuous supply of under current conditions. Primarily what you are smelling is the ammonia released from the urea breakdown plus the output of bacteria that feed on the urine components. Unlike in an indoor environment, the soil situation has the opportunity to have an anaerobic component, so I'm guessing that might be causing some added bonus smells. I suppose there are plants that can absorb/use the high nitrogen levels if a person wanted to experiment with going back to some green.

What Tony wrote about the diet is worth considering. I would be careful about giving additives to actively try to change the urine composition unless their diet already has it out of whack. I don't think the renal system risk is worth it. That is, I wouldn't change from a good diet to a worse diet in an attemtpt to help the problem; I would consider changing from a questionable diet to a good diet and maybe from one good diet to another good diet, though. They probably are on a good diet already, but if it's a fairly high protein diet, maybe you could reduce the protein intake some and see how that works.


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 9:24 pm 
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Mr Clean-
The Texas TKO distributor who I contacted is Larry White.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2003 9:35 pm 
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Tony M

I believe that is the gentlemen I have spoken with. He seems like a great guy. I happened upon him a couple of years ago when I was trying to source the Orange TKO locally. He was very helpful. He was at the first of HG's Organic shows, but I missed him this year.


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 Post subject: Urine Smell
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2003 12:04 am 
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Location: Dallas,TX
Tony's right that the TKO will kill the smell initially. To keep it gone, I agree that a microbial treatment plus a spraying of molasses every two weeks or so should handle the problem by biodegrading the materials. High protein diets cause a smell that sticks around longer because the expelled protein biodegrades slower. It worked in my dog run and it also eliminated the need to pick up the poop...it broke down and melted into the soil within 48 hours!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2003 12:44 am 
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I agree with the microbes and sugars. Too bad you didn't put down compost instead of rocks. Compost, besides providing all the beneficial microbes you need for this job, is a natural filter for smells. Activated charcoal or zeolite are good, too, but compost is great.

Next time the dogs' urine kills the grass, scatter a handful of sugar on the spot. Molasses probably works, too, but sugar is a denser form of sugar and is much cheaper. The carbon in the sugar will feed the microbes and cause them to multiply and absorb the urine.

That and an organic program that feeds protein to the microbes on a regular basis will keep the smells out and decompose the poop in record time. My dog's droppings are completely gone (naturally recycled) in 4 days.


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