A septic tank is an underground tank constructed to collect sewage and then decompose it naturally by bacterial action. This tank is mostly made of fiberglass, plastic or concrete. It is a common structure built underneath houses to allow domestic wastewater to flow for basic treatment. Bacterial actions reduce solid and organic wastes, after which they are allowed to drain by a soakaway. This sludge created by break-down is allowed to exit to underground dispersion areas called ‘distribution trenches/drain fields’. Although septic tanks collect waste, they need to be cleaned too. There are various septic tank cleaning services that offer tank cleaning, pumping and pump out of waste.
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Why do you Need to Clean a Septic Tank?
A septic tank system comprises of two main components – a tank and soil absorption system known as a leach field or drainfield. The tank is designed in such a way that it allows heavy solids to settle at the bottom, where bacteria decompose the solids and form a sludge. Grease and other light particles float on the top, forming scum. Most of this sludge and scum drains out into the leachfield or drainfield through the exit pipe. But sludge and scum build up over time and need to be cleared. Pumping prevents them from flowing out of the tank in the opposite direction. Regular pumpkin also decloggs the drainfield.
Septic Tank Cleaning:
The sludge that collects in these tanks needs to be removed or pumped out roughly every 2 to 5 years. They tend to occupy 30% of the tank in 5 years time and result in inefficiency or even blockage. Failure to pump out a septic tank will cause this sludge to exit from the top instead of the underground drain or distribution trench. This sludge also ends up blocking up outlet pipes, leading to larger cleaning or unblocking costs. Sometimes, you may even have to replace these pipelines. If you are looking for septic tank cleaning near me, then look for companies that have expertise in this department.
Septic Tank Cleaning Services:
Good companies offer certain services such as septic tank cleaning, pumpouts or sewage pit cleanouts. Their cleaning regime includes pumping out the tank from the bottom, scraping down and cleaning all the interior surfaces of the tank. They remove accumulated tree roots, provide reports on the condition of your outlet and inlet pipes, check the condition of the lid and also check the drain fields and distribution trenches. After cleaning, they refill the septic tank with 30cm depth of clean water. This step of filling a septic tank with clean water prevents hydrostatic lift.
You can also sign contracts with companies who will regularly provide septic tank cleaning services regularly every 2 to 3 years. They will also pump out/clean sledge whenever it accumulates. Remember, when the sludge levels reach 30%, it is time to get the tank cleaned/pumped out.
In addition to cleaning/pumping out services, you might also need services for repairing grease traps, greywater sullage holding tanks and septic tanks. You can ask your septic tank cleaning company to provide repair and maintenance services for such items. Repair might be needed for leaking internal or external septic tanks. A service provider also needs to perform a full detailing of grease taps and greywater holding tanks such as water jetting, water blasting of walls and baffles to clean everything well.
Septic tank cleaning companies also need to treat trenches with Rootox to kill tree roots trying to grow in the pipes underneath. They perform an overall repair and maintenance to all components in the wastewater treatment system. Apart from Rootox, they also use other septic tank cleaning products like hydrated lime to restore pH balance. Removing hair from greywater sullage and unclogging of sullage holding tank submersible pumps is also one of the popular services.
What are the Typical Costs for Septic Tank Cleaning?
The costs depend upon the type of services performed:
- Dumping out a tank costs anywhere between $75 to $200. In some areas, it might even increase to $300. This cost should be incurred once every 1 to 3 years depending upon the size of the septic tank and the number of people using it. These services are required more frequently in big housing complexes or buildings.
- Pumping out larger tanks of around 1500 to 2500 gallons may cost around $200 to $350.
- You can even install a high-quality filter to protect your drainfield and this might cost anywhere between $200 to $300.
- If the septic tank has failed, it can be restored by properly pumping out the sludge, cleaning the drainfield lines and installing new filters. The company might also suggest performing a process known as fracturing the soil by inserting a hollow tube into the ground and injecting a 300- pound blast of air. This is a very costly service around $1000 to $2000.
One should never enter a septic tank or try to clear away or pump out the sludge manually. These areas are very unsanitary and even have many deadly gases. It is best to call a professional septic tank cleaning company that will pump out the waste and repair your septic tank using machinery and trained experts.