Updated 7/15/22

When the question is “how much is a septic holding tank?” The answer is always more expensive than maintaining and caring for your old septic tank. Proper care of your septic tank can ensure uninterrupted service for years.

Your household septic tank requires regular maintenance and diligent use to ensure problems do not arise. Even the newest ecological septic tanks require certain maintenance and care activities to ensure unimpeded service.

Many homeowners know nothing about their septic system or how it works. They are unaware that they should have septic pumping services until sewage is spilling out of their bathtub. It is important that every homeowner that has a residential septic system learns all about septic systems and how to properly care for them.

A few precautions and good maintenance can mean extending your system’s life by years. You can avoid the cost and the stress of having to replace your septic system by learning how to care for your system. Some simple steps can pay off nicely in a reliable system that does exactly what it is supposed to.

As an integral part of your home plumbing system, your septic tank may require some maintenance from time to time. Septic tank service and septic tank repair are normal procedures in American home life, as 25% of all American homes use a septic tank to deal with wastewater. The most common kind of septic tank service is septic tank pumping, where a company will come to your house to deal with the accumulated wastewater and service the septic tank itself. While this procedure should ideally be done every two to three years on average, there are some ways to decrease the frequency of pumping your septic tank.

In an average family home, one family member will use up to seventy gallons of water each day in America. This use can come from the kitchen, the laundry room, the bathrooms, the sprinkler systems, the family pool, or any feature that requires a water source. With the average septic tank, you can expect a one-thousand gallon tank capacity for an average home. This means that the average home can hold an estimated two days worth of wastewater at maximum. That capacity is often hampered by the amount of solid waste that is disposed of through the plumbing. In most cases, the factors that lead to a necessary septic tank pumping are the size of your tank, the amount of people in your house, the amount of wastewater generated by your house, and the volume of solids that are in the septic tank.

To keep you septic tank in good shape, make sure that the family understands that wastewater does not just disappear. It may be helpful to teach the family about good home etiquette, including shutting off water when it’s not needed from the faucet, or disposing of certain solid wastes in the garbage rather than flushing it down the pipes. Ensuring these good habits will not only strengthen the longevity of the septic tank, but also save money on energy costs for the family home.

In terms of what should not be flushed down the pipes, harmful substances can endanger the integrity of your septic tank. The most obvious substances are chemicals like drain cleaners or drain openers, which can corrode and damage the interior of the septic tank. Oils, whether they are conventional, cooking, paint-based, or cleaning-based, should never be flushed or poured down the drain for the same reason. Organic oils, such as fat from meat products, will not break down in the tank, and as a result, it will damage your tank and cause solid waste buildup. Many people do not realize it, but flushing waste like cat litter, paper towels, diapers, and even coffee grounds can cause septic buildup that may require a septic tank cleaning. Products like these should be properly disposed of in the garbage to ensure the longevity of your family’s septic tank.

A lesser known but equally dangerous hazard to your septic tank’s health is the garbage disposal. While handy when dealing with clogged sinks, the solids that are ground up in a garbage disposal fill up the septic tank with solids that are harder for the tank to negotiate with. In fact, use of the garbage disposal can contribute up to 50% of the solid waste found in a septic tank. For this reason, the garbage disposal should be used sparingly, and, as previously mentioned, those solid wastes can be simply thrown in the garbage rather than flushed down the drain. If you must use the garbage disposal, try to only grind down solids that would easily decompose. A good example is organic solids, such as fruit and vegetable pieces.

With more than four billion gallons of wastewater pumping underneath American homes every day, your home is not the only one that could use some help keeping their septic tanks in good shape. It may be helpful to, just as you’ve done with the family, introduce your neighbors to these techniques to keep their septic tanks in better shape. As previously mentioned, there is an added benefit of lowering energy costs, so they will be very happy that you have helped! While septic service is a normal everyday affair, these tips will keep your septic cleaning service visits infrequent.


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