Keeping your septic tank clean and well-maintained can help reduce the need for 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 for it to be checked by a professional contractor once a year.
There are many ways you can help your septic system stay clean. The first thing you should do is to use less water than usual. 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 the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your 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 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 the size and needs of your home, you need a tank that can handle the amount water you use. American adults consume between 80 to 100 gallons of drinking water each 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 tanks will not improve its functionality. They can actually do more harm than 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. However, they need to be pumped frequently to remove solid waste that can’t flow into the leach fields. 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 inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections can alert you to any problems. An inspection of the septic tank can be performed on a single occasion or when you purchase a new property. These inspections are typically included in the repair costs and cost between $100 and $300.
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 pumping your tank once every three to 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. 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 system is located near where supplies are delivered, they will be unable to drive over it. So, you may have to wait until the building process is almost complete before you can get it installed.
It can be difficult for you to estimate the cost of a cleaning your septic tank. Calling three local companies is the best way of estimating the cost. You should receive a detailed cost breakdown from the companies. This way you won’t have make guesswork about the cost of your project. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.