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 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. 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 use 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 to the bottom of the tank, while the oils and grease rise to the top. The septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. Pumps will be required to remove the sludge once it reaches the bottom.
You should have a septic tank to handle the water you use, depending on the size of the home. 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 should be capable of reducing solids by 50 percent.
The use of chemical additives in your septic system will not improve its performance. In fact, they can cause more harm that good. For example sodium hydroxide can add more acidity to the system. This can cause accelerated clogging or sludge accumulation.
Most septic tanks require very little maintenance. However, they need to be pumped frequently to remove solid waste that can’t flow into the leach fields. 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.
Septic companies will inspect your tank after pumping it. These inspections can alert you to any problems. An inspection of the septic tank can be performed on a single occasion or when you purchase a new property. These inspections cost about $100 to $300 and are usually rolled into the repair costs.
The size of your tank, as well the number of people who live in your home, will impact how often you need pump your septic tank. The EPA recommends that your tank be pumped every three to five years. Your situation may require you to pump your tank more frequently 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.
If you’re building a new house, you should consider building a septic tank on the site before laying the foundation of the house. Contractors won’t be able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could delay the building process. If the septic tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from driving over it. Before you can get it in place, you might have to wait until all the construction is done.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. 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 to make a decision based on guesswork. Septic tanks are expensive but necessary.