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 for it to be cleaned at least once every three years to ensure it is working properly. It is best to get it checked by a professional contractor at least once a 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 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.
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 bacteria in the septic tanks breaks down some of this waste and distributes it to a leach field. Pumps will be required to remove the sludge once it reaches the bottom.
Depending on the size and needs of your home, you need a tank that can handle the amount water you use. Americans consume between 80 and 100 gallons per day. This amounts to roughly 90 gallons per year of solid waste. 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. Sodium hydroxide, for example, can add more alkalinity to the system, which can cause accelerated clogging and cause a sludge buildup.
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. Most septic tanks do not require pumping unless there are significant amounts of sludge. 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 tank inspection can be done on a one-time basis or when purchasing a new property. These inspections usually cost $100 to $300 and are rolled into the repair costs.
The size and number of people living in your house will affect how often you pump your septic tanks. The EPA recommends pumping your tank once every three to 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.
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 able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could delay the building 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 difficult to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. It is best to contact three local companies to estimate the cost. You should receive a detailed cost breakdown from the companies. This will ensure that you don’t make any guesswork and can make an informed decision. Septic tanks are necessary but expensive.