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 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 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 at the bottom of the tank while the oils and grease rise up to the top. The bacteria in the septic tanks breaks down some of this waste and distributes it to a leach field. A pump is required to remove the sludge from the tank’s bottom.
Depending on the size and needs of your home, you need a tank that can handle the amount water you use. Most American adults use between 80 and 100 gallons of water a 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. In fact, they could cause 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. They must be pumped on a regular basis to remove any solid waste that is not allowed to flow into the leach field. 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.
In addition to pumping your septic tank, septic companies will also do a brief inspection of your tank. These inspections can identify potential problems. A septic inspection can be done once or several times during a property purchase. These inspections can cost anywhere from $100 to $300, and are often included in the repair cost.
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 that your tank be pumped every three to five years. Your specific situation may require more frequent pumping. For example, a single person might need to pump their 1,000-gallon tank once every nine to 12 year, while a five-person family may need to pump it every two to 3 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 slow down the building process. If the septic tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from 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. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This will ensure that you don’t make any guesswork and can make an informed decision. Septic tanks are expensive but necessary.