Keeping your septic tank clean and well-maintained can help reduce the need for costly repairs. The tank’s bacteria is constantly working to remove 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. The first thing you should do is to use less water than usual. 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 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. Bacteria in the septic tank break down some of the waste and distribute it to 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. 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.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. 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. They do need to be pumped every so often to remove any solid waste which is not allowed into the leach area. Most septic tanks do not require pumping unless there are significant amounts of sludge. 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 can identify potential problems. An inspection of the septic tank can be performed on a single occasion or when you purchase a new property. These inspections are typically included in the repair costs and cost between $100 and $300.
The size and number of people living in your house will affect how often you pump your septic tanks. The EPA recommends pumping your tank once every three to five years. Your situation may require you to pump your tank more frequently 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.
Before you start building a house, it is a good idea to install a septic tank. This way, contractors won’t be able to drive over the tank site while they’re 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. It is best to contact three local companies 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.