Maintaining a clean and well-maintained septic system can help to reduce the need for expensive 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. 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 will be for waste to be broken down. You can reduce water use 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.
The septic tank separates wastewater from your home into three layers: solid waste, liquid waste (scum), 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. 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’s standard performance is 50 percent less solids.
A chemical additive in your septic tanks will not improve its functionality. They could actually cause 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 don’t require much maintenance. They do need to be pumped every so often to remove any solid waste which is not allowed into the leach area. Fortunately, most septic tanks don’t need pumping unless there is a significant sludge buildup. However, it is best that you get it checked as soon as possible if there is 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 can cost anywhere from $100 to $300, and are often included in the repair cost.
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 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. 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 have to drive over the tank site as they build the house. This could delay the construction 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. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating the cost. The companies should be able to give you a detailed cost breakdown in writing. This will ensure that you don’t make any guesswork and can make an informed decision. Although they are essential, they can be costly.