Which Septic Tank is Best for Your Home or Business?

Septic tanks are essential for the disposal of household wastewater and sewage in areas where a connection to a municipal sewage system is not available, but with so many to choose from, which septic tank is best?

Septic Tanks Explained

A septic tank is an underground tank, generally made of concrete, plastic, or fibreglass the most common type and these vary in size depending on the household’s needs for example, the bigger your house, the larger septic tank you’ll probably need.

These tanks are designed to treat liquid waste and store heavier waste, with the aim of breaking down and separating solid and liquid waste before releasing it into a drainage field. Understanding the working of a septic tank and being well-versed in the type of septic tank suitable for households is essential for effective waste management.

In this article, we take a closer look at the types of septic tanks available, which septic tank is best, their benefits and drawbacks, and how to select the best septic tank for your household.

Overview of Different Types of Septic Tanks

Septic tanks are an important part of wastewater treatment systems. This system treats the liquid and solid waste from homes and businesses before it gets discharged into the environment.

There are different types of septic tanks available in the market, each with its own primary features, advantages, and disadvantages.

Concrete septic tanks are the most commonly used type and are very durable. They can last up to 40 years with proper maintenance, but they are also more expensive compared to other types.

Plastic septic tanks, on the other hand, are cost-effective and can last up to 15 years. They are lightweight and easy to install, but they may not be as durable as concrete tanks.

Fibreglass septic tanks are also lightweight and have a longer lifespan of up to 50 years, making them a good investment in the long run.  However, they may require specialised equipment during installation, which could add to their overall cost.

The choice of septic tank type depends on several factors including soil type, square footage, and household waste.  With all tanks, regular septic system maintenance is also important to ensure its longevity and prevent health hazards.  Lets dive a little deeper to look into which septic tank is best for your needs.

What Are Septic Tanks? Your Comprehensive Guide

Concrete Septic Tanks

Septic systems play an important role in managing the waste that comes out of a property. They are composed of different components, including the septic tank, which holds the solid and liquid waste.

There are different types of septic tanks available on the market, but concrete septic tanks are the most common.

Below, we will look at what concrete septic tanks are, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to properly maintain them to ensure longevity.

Advantages of Concrete Septic Tanks

Concrete septic tanks are a popular choice for homeowners due to their strength and durability. Compared to other types of septic tanks, concrete tanks have a higher resistance to damage, which reduces the likelihood of cracks or breaks occurring.

This means that this type of tank is unlikely to suffer damage from heavy machinery, making them a great option for homes located in rural areas or in areas where there is heavy traffic.

In addition to their strength and durability, concrete septic tanks are also environmentally friendly. Their high resistance to damage means that they are less likely to leak, which helps to reduce the risk of contamination of the surrounding soil and water.

Because of their longevity, concrete tanks need to be pumped less often than other tanks, which reduces the maintenance needed and saves money in the long run.

Concrete septic tanks are one of the most popular types and are an excellent choice for homeowners because of their strength, durability, environmental friendliness, resistance to damage, and need for less frequent pumping.

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a septic tank that will be reliable and long-lasting, a concrete septic tank may be the right choice for you. Knowing that they come in different septic tank sizes also makes them easy to fit any project.

Disadvantages of Concrete Septic Tanks

Concrete septic tanks may seem like a reliable choice, but they come with their own share of disadvantages. One major issue is deterioration, as concrete is prone to breaking down over time due to exposure to the elements and other factors.

This can lead to cracking in the tank walls, which can allow for root penetration and further damage to the tank. In addition, the reinforcement steel used in concrete tanks can corrode, further weakening the structure and opening up the possibility of leaks.

Repairs and maintenance can also prove to be difficult with concrete tanks, as they are often buried underground and require heavy machinery to access. This makes repairs more time-consuming and costly than with other septic tank types.

The size and weight of concrete tanks mean that they are difficult to remove or replace, adding another layer of complexity and expense should the need arise. While concrete tanks may have their benefits, it is important to consider these disadvantages before making a decision on which septic tank to use.

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Installation and Maintenance Considerations for Concrete Septic Tanks

Installing and maintaining a concrete septic tank involves several important considerations to ensure proper functionality and prevent system failure.

Initially, excavation depth must be carefully considered to allow sufficient space for the tank, as well as proper anchoring, to prevent movement or damage. Inspections must be conducted both during and after installation to verify proper placement and anchoring procedures.

Regular maintenance is crucial for preventing backups and system failures, including appropriate care techniques such as avoiding flushing sanitary products or heavy machinery. This can include regular inspections, pumping of the tank as needed, and avoiding excess water usage.

Common issues with concrete septic tanks can include clogged or damaged drainage pipes, scum layers, effluent layer accumulation, or layers of sludge, each requiring specific solutions. Addressing any issues as soon as they arise can prevent more costly repairs in the future.

Following proper installation and maintenance protocols can ensure the longevity and functionality of a concrete septic tank system.

Plastic Septic Tank

Plastic septic tanks have become a popular choice in recent years for those looking for an affordable and low-maintenance septic system.

Made from high-density polyethene (HDPE), these tanks are lightweight and easy to install, making them a great option for those with an existing system that needs replacement or for new construction.

Now we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of plastic septic tanks over traditional concrete or steel tanks and examine the different types of plastic septic tanks available on the market today. We will also briefly touch on the installation and maintenance requirements for a plastic septic tank.

Advantages of Plastic Septic Tanks

Plastic septic tanks have become a popular option for homeowners due to their numerous advantages. Firstly, plastic tanks are highly durable and long-lasting, making them a reliable solution for handling household waste for many years. They also require minimal maintenance, which saves homeowners time and money in the long run.

Additionally, plastic tanks are lightweight and easy to transport, which simplifies the installation process. This also allows for a more cost-effective solution, as less labour is required for the installation process.

However, it’s crucial to note that plastic septic tanks are more susceptible to damage from the environment, including UV exposure and ground movement. This can potentially compromise the tank and result in costly repairs or replacements.

Bottom Line:

Plastic septic tanks offer many advantages, including durability, longevity, lightweight construction, and cost-effectiveness. While they may be prone to environmental damage, proper care and maintenance can ensure they last for many years.

Disadvantages of Plastic Septic Tanks

While plastic septic tanks have their benefits, they also come with several significant drawbacks. One of the most notable drawbacks is their tendency to be crushed. Heavy machinery and the weight of the soil above can put immense pressure on the plastic tank, potentially resulting in significant damage.

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Plastic septic tanks are prone to environmental damage, which can include exposure to excessive water, falling tree branches, or other conditions that may compromise their structural integrity and potentially cause leaks or other problems.

Compared to other materials, plastic septic tanks are less durable and prone to breaks and ruptures. Over time, this can lead to costly repairs or the need for a complete replacement.

Overall, while plastic septic tanks offer several benefits, it’s essential to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision.

Depending on factors such as soil conditions, the type of solid and liquid waste, and the square footage available, other options such as concrete, steel, or fibreglass tanks may be more reliable and provide better long-term value.

Installation and Maintenance Considerations for Plastic Septic Tanks

Homeowners considering a plastic septic tank for their property must carefully consider several installation and maintenance factors.

Although plastic tanks are more lightweight and cost-effective than other materials, they may be susceptible to damage caused by environmental factors such as excessive water, tree branches falling on the tank, or other impacts.

When installing a plastic tank, ensure it is placed on an appropriate drainage field and an inlet pipe connected to the tank’s top. The drain field should consist of a network of pipes with perforations to allow liquid waste to be absorbed into surrounding soil conditions.

Sludge and scum layers separated from the effluent layer inside the tank should be removed periodically, along with regular maintenance check-ups. A septic professional should be called for inspecting the tank annually, which prevents heavy waste accumulation and damage.

The advantages of using plastic septic tanks include their lightweight, cost-effectiveness, and ease of installation. However, they may be more susceptible to breaks and ruptures than other materials, leading to costly repairs or a complete replacement.

Proper maintenance, including regular inspections, pump outs, and avoiding flushing of sanitary products and heavy machinery, is required to ensure the longevity of a plastic septic tank.

Fiberglass Septic Tank

Fibreglass septic tanks are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability, affordability, and versatility.

These tanks are made of fibreglass material, which makes them lightweight and easy to transport and install. They can also be used as a shallow dig septic tank because they are easier to install than an onion-shaped tank.

They are also resistant to corrosion, cracking and rusting, which prolongs their lifespan. Fiberglass tanks are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, making them an ideal choice for a range of residential and commercial applications.

Let’s explore the benefits and drawbacks of fibreglass septic tanks, and how to determine if it’s the best option for your needs. We’ll also discuss where to buy the best fibreglass septic tanks and provide tips on how to maintain and care for them.

Advantages of Fiberglass Septic Tanks

Fibreglass septic tanks are quickly becoming a popular choice for many homeowners due to their unique advantages.

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One of the primary benefits of fibreglass tanks is their lightweight design, which makes them easy to transport and install. Unlike their concrete and steel counterparts, fibreglass tanks can be easily moved to the installation site, even in areas where heavy machinery may not be accessible.

Apart from their convenience, fibreglass septic tanks have a long lifespan of over 40 years and require minimal maintenance.

Moreover, they are relatively easy to fix and repair due to their durable construction. Additionally, fibreglass tanks are highly resistant to corrosive chemicals, which significantly reduces the risk of leakage and environmental contamination.

Fibreglass septic tanks are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for reliable wastewater treatment solutions that require minimal upkeep.

Bottom Line:

They offer homeowners the peace of mind that their septic system will be running smoothly without having to spend significant time and resources on maintenance and repair. With their durability, longevity, and resistance to chemicals, fibreglass septic tanks are undoubtedly worth considering when it comes to waste water treatment.

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Septic Tanks

While fibreglass septic tanks offer numerous benefits, there are potential drawbacks that homeowners should consider before installation. One of the most significant disadvantages of fibreglass tanks is their tendency to float in areas with high groundwater levels due to their lightweight.

This can cause serious issues with the functionality of the tank and may require additional reinforcement or removal and replacement. Preventing this issue requires careful consideration of soil conditions, water table levels, and nearby geography and climate.

In addition to floating, fibreglass tanks have limitations when it comes to withstanding heavy machinery, which can cause damage and require expensive repairs.

They also require a higher level of maintenance compared to other types of septic tanks, such as regular inspection and cleaning to prevent a buildup of scum and sludge layers that can impede their effectiveness.

Homeowners should also be aware of potential issues with flushable sanitary products and excessive use of toilet paper, which can contribute to clogging and backup problems.

Despite these drawbacks, fibreglass septic tanks remain a popular choice among homeowners due to their durability, low maintenance requirements, and resistance to corrosive chemicals.

However, it is essential to work with a professional installer and conduct thorough site assessments before selecting and installing a septic system.

Installation and Maintenance Considerations for FiberglassSeptic Tanks

Fibreglass septic tanks are preferred for their lightweight construction and convenience in transport. Proper installation and regular maintenance are important factors to consider for ensuring the long-term effectiveness of these items.

Before installing a fibreglass septic tank, it’s important to take into account the type of soil and drainage field to ensure a proper fit.

Fibreglass septic tanks have the ability to float in areas with high groundwater levels due to their lightweight construction. To prevent the tank from floating, homeowners should consider installing a concrete collar around the tank or anchoring it firmly in place.

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Inspections are also critical for fibreglass septic tanks. Homeowners should conduct regular inspections of the tank’s inlet and outlet pipes, checking for signs of damage and leaks.

Maintenance of fibreglass septic tanks often requires more frequent cleaning to prevent the buildup of scum and sludge layers that can lead to clogging and backup problems. It’s important to note that flushable sanitary products and excessive use of toilet paper can contribute to clogging issues, so caution should be taken to avoid disposing of these items in a fibreglass septic tank.

Taking these considerations into account during installation and maintenance will help homeowners ensure the effectiveness and longevity of their fibreglass septic tank.

Traditional Septic Tank

Traditional septic tank systems are a type of on-site sewage facility designed for homes and properties without a municipal sewage system. The system consists of two or three chambers constructed of brick, concrete, or stone, and operates by utilizing gravity to move waste through the tank.

The heavy waste settles to the bottom forming a sludge layer, while oils and fats float to the top creating a scum layer, leaving a clear effluent layer in the middle. The effluent layer is then discharged into a drainage field for further treatment.

However, traditional septic tanks are no longer preferred due to their limitations. As these tanks do not separate heavy waste from the effluent, leading to the potential pollution of the drainage field and groundwater. The maintenance requirements of these tanks are also relatively high, and their longevity is limited.

To address these issues, modern septic tanks provide a waste separation process where heavy waste such as oils and fats are separated from the effluent.

This process ensures wastewater purity and eliminates the risk of drainage field pollution. The separated heavy waste can be further processed, and the clear effluent can be discharged into the drainage field and treated further.

While traditional septic tanks can still function in some situations, they are no longer preferred. Modern systems with a waste separation process are preferred as they are more efficient, long-lasting, and better for the environment which also improves the nutrient neautrality of the soil.

Summary of Which Septic Tank is Best

As you can see, which septic tank is best depends on your individaul requirements and is dicated by a number of different factors.

A quick summary for you:

  • Septic tanks are essential for effective waste management in areas without access to a municipal sewage system.
  • There are different types of septic tanks available, including concrete, plastic, and fibreglass tanks, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.
  • Concrete septic tanks are the most commonly used type due to their strength, durability, resistance to damage, and environmental friendliness.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

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Updated: June 28, 2023

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Septic TanksWhich Septic Tank is Best for Your Home or Business?