Keeping your septic tank clean and well-maintained can help reduce the need for costly repairs. Bacteria in the tank are constantly working to break down solid waste. It is a good idea to have it cleaned at least every three years to make sure it is functioning properly. It is best that it be checked by a professional contractor every year.
There are many things you could do to keep your tank clean. First, you should not use more water than you usually do. The more water in the tank, the more difficult it is for waste to break down. Water-efficient toilets and showerheads can help reduce water consumption. You can also save water by not running your faucet while you brush or wash 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 to the bottom of the tank, while the oils and grease rise to the top. The bacteria in the septic tanks breaks down some of this waste and distributes it to a leach field. The tank will need to be pumped when the sludge has reached the bottom.
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 should be capable of reducing solids by 50 percent.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. They can actually do more harm than good. For example, sodium hydroxide can increase the alkalinity of the system, which can accelerate clogging and lead to sludge buildup.
Septic tanks need very little maintenance. They must be pumped on a regular basis to remove any solid waste that is not allowed to flow into the leach field. Most septic tanks do not require pumping unless there are significant amounts of sludge. However, if you notice a problem, it is best to get it checked immediately.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections can alert you to any 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 of your tank as well as the number of people in your home will determine how often you need to pump your septic tank. The EPA recommends you pump your tank once every three-five years. Your situation may require you to pump your tank more frequently than this. A person with a 1,000-gallon tank might need it every nine to 12, whereas a family of five might need it every two or three years.
If you’re building a new house, you should consider building a septic tank on the site before laying the foundation of the house. Contractors won’t be able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could cause delays in the construction process. If the septic tanks are located in an area where supplies are delivered it will prevent them driving over it. So, you may have to wait until the building process is almost complete before you can get it installed.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. The best way to estimate the cost is to call three local companies. You should receive a detailed cost breakdown from the companies. This way, you won’t have to make a decision based on guesswork. Although they are necessary, they are also very expensive.