While they all operate in much the same way, not all septic tanks are equal. A major difference involves the size of the tank. This is important because a septic tank’s capacity must be equal to or larger than the wastewater coming from the home. In other words, if you have a small septic tank for a very large family, you could end up with costly septic disasters or the need for very frequent septic tank pumpings.
Just how much is “too much” when it comes to overwhelming your septic tank? The answer can vary for every household. When too much wastewater hits your tank at once, it can cause standing water in your yard, slow drains and foul sewage odors.
Reasons a Septic Can Become Overloaded
Overloaded septic tanks are often caused by excessive water usage or when the capacity of the tank is too small for the household. A septic overload can happen if you:
- Host a large party without pumping your septic tank first
- Suddenly have house guests for an extended amount of time
- Have a leaky fixture or running toilet
- Flush anything other than toilet paper (less room in tank for wastewater)
- Have physical damage to the septic tank
- Install the tank improperly
- Fail to keep up with routine maintenance for your tank
What size septic tank do you need for your home? Consider these statistics to find the answer:
- The average person uses 60 to 70 gallons of water per day
- Washing machines: 15 to 45 gallons per load
- Toilets: 1.28 to 7 gallons per flush
- Showers: 17.2 gallons per shower (or 2.1 gallons per minute)
- Bathroom sinks: 1.5 to 2.2 gallons per minute
- Kitchen sinks: 2 to 5 gallons per minute
- Dishwashers: 4 to 6 gallons per cycle
Ask an Expert
The only way to know for sure whether or not your septic tank is equipped to handle the wastewater coming from your home is to ask a certified septic professional. Call Metro Septic today! This could be a simple call that could save you notable expense in septic repairs if your tank is not big enough for your household occupants.