Maintaining a clean and well-maintained septic system can help to reduce the need for expensive repairs. The bacteria in the tank is constantly working to eliminate 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 have it checked by a professional contractor at the very least once a month.
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 the tank the more difficult it will be for waste to be broken down. You can reduce water consumption 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.
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. 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 amounts to roughly 90 gallons per year of solid waste. A septic tank’s standard performance is 50 percent less solids.
The use of chemical additives in your septic system will not improve its performance. 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.
Septic tanks need very little maintenance. However, they must be pumped regularly to remove the solid waste that cannot flow into the leach field. Unless there is a significant amount of sludge buildup in the tank, most septic tanks don’t require pumping. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections can help you identify any potential problems. A septic tank inspection is possible on a one-time or a permanent basis. These inspections cost about $100 to $300 and are usually rolled into the repair costs.
How often you should pump your septic tank depends on the size of your tank and the number of people living in your home. 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. 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 able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could cause delays in the construction process. If the septic tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from driving over it. You may need to wait until the construction is complete before you can install it.
It can be difficult for you to estimate the cost of a cleaning your septic tank. It is best to contact three local companies to estimate the cost. The companies should be able to give you a detailed cost breakdown in writing. This way, you won’t have to make a decision based on guesswork. Although they are essential, they can be costly.