A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. Bacteria in the tank are constantly working to break down solid waste. It is a good idea for it to be cleaned at least once every three years to ensure it is working properly. It is best that it be checked by a professional contractor every year.
There are many things that you can do to help keep your septic tank clean. You should use less water than you normally do. The more water in the tank, the more difficult it is for waste to break down. You can reduce water consumption by using water efficient toilets, showerheads and washing machines. You can also save water if you don’t run the faucet while you brush your teeth or wash your dishes.
When wastewater from your home passes into the septic tank, it separates into three layers: solid waste (sludge), liquid waste (scum), and oil and grease. The solids settle down to the bottom, while the oils & grease rise to its top. The septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. When the sludge reaches the bottom of the tank, a pump will be necessary to remove the buildup.
Depending on how big your home is, you will need a septic system that can handle the amount you use. The average American adult uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day. This is equivalent to 90 gallons worth of solid waste per year. A septic tank’s standard performance is 50 percent less solids.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. In fact, they can cause more harm that good. For example, sodium hydroxide can increase the alkalinity of the system, which can accelerate clogging and lead to sludge buildup.
Septic tanks are very easy to maintain. However, they need to be pumped frequently to remove solid waste that can’t flow into the leach fields. Unless there is a significant amount of sludge buildup in the tank, most septic tanks don’t require pumping. However, it is best that you get it checked as soon as possible if there is a problem.
In addition to pumping your septic tank, septic companies will also do a brief inspection of your tank. These inspections will alert you to any potential problems. A septic inspection can be done once or several times during a property purchase. These inspections are typically included in the repair costs and cost between $100 and $300.
The size and number of people living in your house will affect how often you pump your septic tanks. The EPA recommends pumping your tank once every three to five years. However, depending on your particular situation, you may need to pump more often than this. For example, a single person with a 1,000-gallon tank may need it every nine to 12 years, while a family with five people may require pumping every two to three years.
You should consider putting a septic system on the site prior to laying the foundation for a new house. Contractors won’t have to drive over the tank site as they build the house. This could delay the building process. If the septic tanks are located in an area where supplies are delivered it will prevent them driving over it. You may need to wait until the construction is complete before you can install it.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. It is best to contact three local companies to estimate the cost. Three companies should be able give you a written breakdown of the cost. This way you won’t have make guesswork about the cost of your project. Although they are necessary, they are also very expensive.