In a rural are such as we have here in SW Colorado many home's waste watergoes into a septic tank. The average household septic system should be inspected at least every three years by a septic service professional. Household septic tanks are typically pumped every three to five years. Alternative systems with electrical float switches, pumps, or mechanical components should be inspected more often, generally once a year. Is very important to keep up this this maintenance. If you fail to pump your septic before it overflows sludge into your drain field then it can ruin your drain field. Replacing a drain field can sometimes cost from 10 to 15 thousand dollars. Here are some guidelines from the EPA.
Four major factors influence the frequency of septic pumping:
Total wastewater generated
Volume of solids in wastewater
Septic tank size
· When you call a septic service provider, he or she will inspect for leaks and examine the scum and sludge layers in your septic tank.
Keep maintenance records on work performed on your septic system.
Your septic tank includes a T-shaped outlet which prevents sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling to the drain-field area. If the bottom of the scum layer is within six inches of the bottom of the outlet, or if the top of the sludge layer is within 12 inches of the outlet, your tank needs to be pumped.
To keep track of when to pump out your tank, write down the sludge and scum levels found by the septic professional.
The service provider should note repairs completed and the tank condition in your system’s service report. If other repairs are recommended, hire a repair person soon.
Remember to use water efficiently. The average indoor water use in a typical single-family home is nearly 70 gallons per individual, per day. Just a single leaky or running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water per day.
All of the water a household sends down its pipes winds up in its septic system. The more water a household conserves, the less water enters the septic system. Efficient water use improves the operation of a septic system and reduces the risk of failure.
Toilet use accounts for 25 to 30 percent of household water use. Many older homes have toilets with 3.5- to 5-gallon reservoirs, while newer, high-efficiency toilets use 1.6 gallons of water or less per flush. Replacing existing toilets with high-efficiency models is an easy way to reduce the amount of household water entering your septic system.
Toilets aren’t trash cans!
Your septic system is not a trash can. An easy rule of thumb: Do not flush anything besides human waste and toilet paper.