If you’re building a new home, you’ll likely need to install a septic tank. It’s one of the most important components of your new house’s construction because every time you flush a toilet, do the laundry or turn on the water to wash your hands, your septic system comes into play.
Most people don’t think about their septics until they begin to overflow or need to be pumped. It’s ideal to have a septic system that works exactly the way it’s supposed to keep everything sanitary.
The size of your septic tank system is typically determined by how big your family is, how many bathrooms the house has and how big the land around your house is. The larger a house, the bigger the septic tank will need to be to handle the waste from all family members and ensure it won’t need to be pumped too often. Most septic systems need to be pumped every 2-3 years, depending on usage and the size of the household. Many local governments also have regulations on how big your septic tank needs to be to meet minimum standards. Currently, 1000 gallons is a good minimum size.
Generally, all septic tank systems consist of a tank and a drain field. In the septic tank, all solid matter sinks to the bottom, while the wastewater liquid at the top is treated and then goes through another pipe to a drain field, where it’s filtered and becomes part of the soil. Some larger households may invest in a multi-tank system
Septic tanks are made out of a variety of materials:
Concrete and plastic tanks are the most popular choices. As long as the tank is properly installed, any of these materials work fine. Lightweight plastic tanks may need to be anchored into the ground to prevent it from floating upwards when it’s empty.
When examined more closely, it’s easy to see the differences between plastic and concrete septic tanks and understand the advantages one material has over another. Plastic is lightweight, easy to install, and doesn’t rust or corrode over time.
Concrete, on the other hand, is also advantageous because they tend to have higher effluent levels than plastic tanks, and they’re heavy, so there’s no chance of floating. They’re long-lasting and durable as well, however, they are prone to cracking after many years, are more susceptible to leaks and are more expensive to install.
Whether you choose plastic or concrete or some other material, be sure it matches up with local building regulations and works well for your budget.