Maintaining a clean and well-maintained septic system can help to reduce the need for expensive 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 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. 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 bottom of the tank and the oils, grease, and other substances rise to the top. Bacteria in the septic tank break down some of the waste and distribute it to 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. Americans consume between 80 and 100 gallons per day. This is equivalent to 90 gallons worth of solid waste per year. 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. In fact, they can cause more harm that good. For example, sodium hydroxide could cause more harm than good.
Septic tanks are very easy to maintain. 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. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
The septic company will pump your septic tank and also do a short inspection of the tank. These inspections will alert you to any potential problems. A septic tank inspection is possible on a one-time or a permanent basis. These inspections usually cost $100 to $300 and are 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 that you pump your tank every three to five year. 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 allowed to drive over the tank while they’re 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. 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 difficult to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. The best way to estimate the cost is to call three local companies. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This way, you won’t have to make a decision based on guesswork. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.