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 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 will be for waste to be broken down. Water-efficient toilets and showerheads can help reduce water consumption. You can also reduce water consumption by not running the tap while you brush your teeth and 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. The septic tank’s bacteria breaks down some of the waste and distributes it to the leach fields. 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. Americans consume between 80 and 100 gallons per 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.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. They could actually cause more harm than good. For example sodium hydroxide can add more acidity to the system. This can cause accelerated clogging or sludge accumulation.
Most septic tanks require very little maintenance. However, they must be pumped regularly to remove the solid waste that cannot flow into the leach field. Fortunately, most septic tanks don’t need pumping unless there is a significant sludge buildup. However, if you notice a problem, it is best to get it checked immediately.
In addition to pumping your septic tank, septic companies will also do a brief inspection of your tank. These inspections will alert you to any potential problems. A septic tank inspection can be done on a one-time basis or when purchasing a new property. These inspections cost about $100 to $300 and are usually 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 you pump your tank once every three-five years. However, depending on your particular situation, you may need to pump more often 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. 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 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. 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 make guesswork about the cost of your project. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.