Keeping your septic tank clean and well-maintained can help reduce the need for costly repairs. Bacteria in the tank are constantly working to break 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 to get it checked by a professional contractor at least once a year.
There are many things you could do to keep your tank clean. One of the first things you should do is use less water than you typically would. The more water in a tank, the more difficult it becomes for wastes to be reduced. 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 down to the bottom, while the oils & grease rise to its top. Bacteria in the septic tank break down some of the waste and distribute it to the leach field. The tank will need to be pumped when the sludge has reached the bottom.
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 translates to approximately 90 gallons of solid waste every year. A septic tank’s standard performance is 50 percent less solids.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. 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.
Septic tanks are very easy to maintain. However, they need to be pumped frequently to remove solid waste that can’t flow into the leach fields. Unless there is significant sludge buildup, most septic tank do not need to be pumped. 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 can identify potential problems. A septic tank inspection is possible on a one-time or a permanent basis. These inspections are typically included in the repair costs and cost between $100 and $300.
The size and number of people living in your house will affect how often you pump your septic tanks. The EPA recommends that you pump your tank every three to five year. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping 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.
You should consider putting a septic system on the site prior to laying the foundation for a new house. 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. So, you may have to wait until the building process is almost complete before you can get it installed.
It can be difficult to estimate the cost of a septic tank clean. It is best to contact three local companies to estimate 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.