Maintaining a clean and well-maintained septic system can help to reduce the need for expensive 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 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 will be for waste to be broken down. 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.
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. A pump is required to remove the sludge from the tank’s bottom.
Depending on how big your home is, you will need a septic system that can handle the amount you use. American adults consume between 80 to 100 gallons of drinking water each day. This amounts to roughly 90 gallons per year of solid waste. A septic tank should be capable of reducing solids by 50 percent.
A chemical additive in your septic tank will not improve its function. 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 need very little maintenance. However, they need to be pumped frequently to remove solid waste that can’t flow into the leach fields. Most septic tanks do not require pumping unless there are significant amounts of sludge. However, if you notice a problem, it is best to get it checked immediately.
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 are typically included in the repair costs and cost between $100 and $300.
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. However, your specific situation may require a more frequent pumping than this. For example, a single person with a 1,000-gallon tank may need it every nine to 12 years, while a family with five people may require pumping every two to 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. 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 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 to calculate the cost of septic tank cleaning. The best way to estimate the cost is to call three local companies. The companies should be able to give you a detailed cost breakdown in writing. This way you won’t have make guesswork about the cost of your project. Septic tanks are expensive but necessary.