A well-maintained septic tank can reduce the need to make 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 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. One of the first things you should do is use less water than you typically would. The more water in the tank, the more difficult it is for waste to break down. 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 house is pumped into a septic tank it splits into three layers: solid (sludge), fluid (scum), as well as 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.
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 translates to approximately 90 gallons of solid waste every 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. Sodium hydroxide, for example, can add more alkalinity to the system, which can cause accelerated clogging and cause a sludge buildup.
Most septic tanks require 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. If you do notice a problem, it’s best to have it checked right away.
The septic company will pump your septic tank and also do a short inspection of the tank. These inspections can identify 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.
The size and number of people living in your house will affect how often you pump your septic tanks. The EPA recommends you pump your tank once every three-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.
You should consider putting a septic system on the site prior to laying the foundation for a new house. Contractors won’t be able drive over the tank site while building the house. This could delay the construction process. If the septic system is located near where supplies are delivered, they will be unable to drive over it. It is possible that you will need to wait until almost all of the building work is completed before you can have it installed.
It can be hard to determine how much a septic tank cleaning should cost. 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. Although they are essential, they can be costly.