A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. The tank’s bacteria is constantly working to remove 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 that it be checked by a professional contractor every 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 the tank, the more difficult it is for waste to break 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.
The septic tank separates wastewater from your home into three layers: solid waste, liquid waste (scum), oil and grease. The solids settle to the bottom of the tank, while the oils and grease rise to the top. The septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. A pump is required to remove the sludge from the tank’s 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. A septic tank should be capable of reducing solids by 50 percent.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. 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.
Most septic tanks require 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.
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 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 as the number of people in your home will determine how often you need to pump your septic tank. The EPA recommends you pump your tank once every three-five years. Your situation may require you to pump your tank more frequently 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.
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. It will stop people from driving over the septic tank if it is located in an area that supplies are delivered. So, you may have to wait until the building process is almost complete before you can get it installed.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating the cost. Three companies should be able give you a written breakdown of the cost. This way, you won’t have to make a decision based on guesswork. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.