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 to have it cleaned at least every three years to make sure it is functioning properly. It is best to get it checked by a professional contractor at least 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. You can reduce water consumption by using water efficient toilets, showerheads and washing machines. 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 at the bottom of the tank while the oils and grease rise up to the top. The septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. When the sludge reaches the bottom of the tank, a pump will be necessary to remove the buildup.
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 translates to approximately 90 gallons of solid waste every year. A septic tank should be capable of reducing solids by 50 percent.
A chemical additive in your septic tanks will not improve its functionality. In fact, they could cause more harm than good. For example sodium hydroxide can add more acidity to the system. This can cause accelerated clogging or sludge accumulation.
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 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 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 cost about $100 to $300 and are usually rolled into the repair costs.
The size and number of people living in your house will affect how often you pump your septic tanks. The EPA recommends that you pump your tank every three to five year. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping 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 be able drive over the tank site while building 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. So, you may have to wait until the building process is almost complete before you can get it installed.
It can be difficult to estimate the cost of a septic tank clean. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating 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.