Keeping your septic tank clean and well-maintained can help reduce the need for costly repairs. The bacteria in the tank is constantly working to eliminate 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 for it to be checked by a professional contractor once a year.
There are many things you could do to keep your tank clean. One of the first things you should do is use less water than you typically would. 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 reduce water consumption by not running the tap while you brush your teeth and 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 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. Pumps will be required to remove the sludge once it reaches the bottom.
Depending on the size and needs of your home, you need a tank that can handle the amount water you use. American adults consume between 80 to 100 gallons of drinking water each 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.
The function of your septic tank won’t be improved by adding chemicals. They could actually cause more harm than good. Sodium hydroxide, for example, can add more alkalinity to the system, which can cause accelerated clogging and cause a sludge buildup.
Septic tanks need very little maintenance. However, they need to be pumped frequently to remove solid waste that can’t flow into the leach fields. Unless there is significant sludge buildup, most septic tank do not need to be pumped. It is important to immediately notify your local health department if you suspect a problem.
Septic companies will not only pump your septic tank but also inspect it. These inspections will alert you to any potential problems. An inspection of the septic tank can be performed on a single occasion or when you purchase a new property. These inspections usually cost $100 to $300 and are rolled into the repair costs.
The size of your tank, as well the number of people who live in your home, will impact how often you need pump your septic tank. The EPA recommends that your tank be pumped every three to five years. However, depending on your particular situation, you may need to pump more often than this. A single person may only need to pump their 1,000-gallon tank every nine to twelve years, while a family of five may need to pump every two to three.
When building a new home, you should install a tank before you lay the foundation. Contractors won’t have to drive over the tank site as they build the house. This could slow down the building process. It will stop people from driving over the septic tank if it is located in an area that supplies are delivered. 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. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating the cost. You should receive a detailed cost breakdown from the companies. This way you won’t have make guesswork about the cost of your project. Although they are essential, they can be costly.