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 that it be cleaned at the least once every three year to ensure it is in good condition. It is best that it be checked by a professional contractor every 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. 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 down to the bottom, while the oils & grease rise to its 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 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 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 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 don’t require much 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. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping 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 can cost anywhere from $100 to $300, and are often included in the repair cost.
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 your tank be pumped every three to five years. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping than this. 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.
When building a new home, you should install a tank before you lay the foundation. Contractors won’t have to drive over the tank site as they build 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. 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. The best way to estimate the cost is to call three local companies. The companies should be able to give you a detailed cost breakdown in writing. This way, you won’t have to make a decision on the basis of guesswork. Although they are essential, they can be costly.