Maintaining a clean and well-maintained septic system can help to reduce the need for expensive repairs. The tank’s bacteria is constantly working to remove solid waste. It is a good idea that it be cleaned at the least once every three year to ensure it is in good condition. 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. The first thing you should do is to use less water than usual. 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 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. Pumps will be required to remove the sludge once it reaches the bottom.
Depending on how big your home is, you will need a septic system that can handle the amount 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. They could actually cause more harm than good. Sodium hydroxide, for example, can add more alkalinity to the system, which can cause accelerated clogging and cause a sludge buildup.
Septic tanks are very easy to maintain. However, they must be pumped regularly to remove the solid waste that cannot flow into the leach field. Fortunately, most septic tanks don’t need pumping unless there is a significant sludge buildup. However, it is best that you get it checked as soon as possible if there is a problem.
In addition to pumping your septic tank, septic companies will also do a brief inspection of your tank. These inspections will alert you to any 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.
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 your tank be pumped every three to five years. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping than this. A single person may only need to pump their 1,000-gallon tank every nine to twelve years, while a family of five may need to pump every two to three.
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 delay the construction process. If the septic tanks are located in an area where supplies are delivered it will prevent them driving over it. Before you can get it in place, you might have to wait until all the construction is done.
It can be difficult to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. 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 will ensure that you don’t make any guesswork and can make an informed decision. Although they are necessary, they are also very expensive.