A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. The tank is constantly being cleaned by bacteria that breaks 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 things you can do to keep your septic tank clean. You should use less water than you normally do. The more water that is in the tank, it is more difficult for waste to be dissolved. You can reduce water usage by using water-efficient toilets. You can also save water if you don’t run the faucet while you brush your teeth or wash your 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 septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. The tank will need to be pumped when the sludge has reached the bottom.
Depending on the size of your home, you should have a septic tank that will handle the amount of water you use. The average American adult uses between 80-100 gallons of water per day. This amounts to roughly 90 gallons per year of solid waste. The standard performance of a toilet is 50 percent of solids.
The use of chemical additives in your septic system will not improve its performance. 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.
Most septic tanks require very little maintenance. They do need to be pumped every so often to remove any solid waste which is not allowed into the leach area. Unless there is significant sludge buildup, most septic tank do not need to be pumped. 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 can alert you to any 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 you pump your tank once every three-five years. Your specific situation may require more frequent pumping. 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 be able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could slow down the building process. If the septic tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from driving over it. It is possible that you will need to wait until almost all of the building work is completed before you can have it installed.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. 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 based on guesswork. Although they are necessary, they are also very expensive.