A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. Bacteria in the tank are constantly working to break down solid waste. It is a good idea that it be cleaned at the least once every three year to ensure it is in good condition. It is best for it to be checked by a professional contractor once a year.
There are many things you could do to keep your tank clean. One of the first things you should do is use less water than you typically would. The more water in a tank, the more difficult it becomes for wastes to be reduced. 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 house is pumped into a septic tank it splits into three layers: solid (sludge), fluid (scum), as well as 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. When the sludge reaches the bottom of the tank, a pump will be necessary to remove the buildup.
Depending on how big your home is, you will need a septic system that can handle the amount you use. Most American adults use between 80 and 100 gallons of water a day. This is equivalent to 90 gallons worth of solid waste per year. Generally speaking, the standard performance of a septic tank is 50 percent reduction 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 can increase the alkalinity of the system, which can accelerate clogging and lead to sludge buildup.
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. Fortunately, most septic tanks don’t need pumping unless there is a significant sludge buildup. 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 will alert you to any potential problems. A septic inspection can be done once or several times during a property purchase. These inspections usually cost $100 to $300 and are rolled into the repair costs.
The size of your tank, as well the number of people who live in your home, will impact how often you need pump your septic tank. 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 person with a 1,000-gallon tank might need it every nine to 12, whereas a family of five might need it every two or three years.
If you’re building a new house, you should consider building a septic tank on the site before laying the foundation of the 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 tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from driving over it. Before you can get it in place, you might have to wait until all the construction is done.
It can be difficult to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. 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 way, you won’t have to make a decision based on guesswork. Although they are necessary, they are also very expensive.