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 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 ways you can help your septic system stay clean. You should use less water than you normally do. The more water in a tank, the more difficult it becomes for wastes to be reduced. 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 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 how big your home is, you will need a septic system that can handle the amount 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’s standard performance is 50 percent less solids.
The use of chemical additives in your septic system will not improve its performance. In fact, they could cause more harm than good. For example, sodium hydroxide could cause more harm than good.
Most septic tanks require 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 a significant amount of sludge buildup in the tank, most septic tanks don’t require pumping. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections will alert you to any potential problems. A septic tank inspection can be done on a one-time basis or when purchasing a new property. These inspections cost about $100 to $300 and are usually rolled into the repair costs.
How often you should pump your septic tank depends on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your home. The EPA recommends pumping your tank once every three to five years. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping than this. For example, a single person might need to pump their 1,000-gallon tank once every nine to 12 year, while a five-person family may need to pump it every two to 3 years.
When building a new home, you should install a tank before you lay the foundation. 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 system is located near where supplies are delivered, they will be unable to drive over it. You may need to wait until the construction is complete before you can install it.
It can be difficult to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. Three local companies are the best way to estimate the cost. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This way, you won’t have to make a decision on the basis of guesswork. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.