A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make costly repairs. Bacteria in the tank are constantly working to break 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 for it to be checked by a professional contractor 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 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 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. When the sludge reaches the bottom of the tank, a pump will be necessary to remove the buildup.
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 is equivalent to 90 gallons worth of solid waste per year. 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. For example, sodium hydroxide could cause more harm than good.
Septic tanks need 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. However, it is best that you get it checked as soon as possible if there is a problem.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections can identify potential problems. A septic tank inspection is possible on a one-time or a permanent basis. 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 you pump your tank once every three-five years. Your specific situation may require more frequent pumping. 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.
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. It will stop people from driving over the septic tank if it is located in an area that supplies are delivered. Before you can get it in place, you might have to wait until all the construction is done.
It can be difficult for you to estimate the cost of a cleaning your septic tank. Three local companies are the best way to estimate the cost. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This way you won’t have make guesswork about the cost of your project. Septic tanks are expensive but necessary.