Keeping your septic tank clean and well-maintained can help reduce the need for costly repairs. The tank is constantly being cleaned by bacteria that breaks 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 that it be checked by a professional contractor every year.
There are many things you can do to keep your septic tank clean. One of the first things you should do is use less water than you typically would. The more water that is in the tank, it is more difficult for waste to be dissolved. You can reduce water usage by using water-efficient toilets. You can also save water by not running your faucet while you brush or 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 septic tank is populated with bacteria that breaks down some waste and distributes it in the leach field. The tank will need to be pumped when the sludge has reached 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 is equivalent to 90 gallons worth of solid waste per year. A septic tank’s standard performance is 50 percent less solids.
The function of your septic tank won’t be improved by adding chemicals. 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. They do need to be pumped every so often to remove any solid waste which is not allowed into the leach area. Unless there is significant sludge buildup, most septic tank do not need to be pumped. 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 alert you to any problems. A septic inspection can be done once or several times during a property purchase. These inspections usually cost $100 to $300 and are rolled into the repair costs.
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 pumping your tank once every three to five years. Your specific situation may require more frequent pumping. 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. Contractors won’t have to drive over the tank site as they build the house. This could slow down the building process. If the septic tank is in an area where supplies are delivered, it will prevent them from driving over it. So, you may have to wait until the building process is almost complete before you can get it installed.
It can be difficult to estimate the cost of a septic tank clean. The best way to estimate the cost is to call three local companies. The companies should be able provide a written breakdown of costs. This way, you won’t have to make a decision on the basis of guesswork. Septic tanks are expensive but necessary.