As colder temperatures stick around in Northern Alabama, it's natural to think that critical home…
Septic tanks are alternative systems designed to store, partially treat, and dispose of household sewage and wastewater. Usually positioned underground and made of concrete, GRP, or HDPE, septic tanks represent an excellent and eco-friendly alternative for households who can’t or don’t wish to be connected to the public sewage lines.
Today, over 21 million American households have converted from standard sewage disposal systems to septic tanks – also because those systems allow for a low-waste, off-grid lifestyle.
However, whether you are transitioning from a traditional sewage system to septic tanks or you’re a longtime septic owner, you might still have questions about these systems. Luckily, the experts at Economy Septic Tank Service are here to answer your most frequently asked questions about septic systems.
Septic System FAQs
How does a septic tank work?
Septic tanks can be single-chambered or multi-chambered. These tanks leverage gravity to internally separate the solid and liquid waste:
- Oil, grease, and light solid waste float to the surface
- Heavy solid waste sinks to the bottom and gets broken down by anaerobic bacteria
- Liquid waste is suspended in the middle and then flows away into a septic soakaway
The liquid waste is dispersed in the surrounding drainage field, where it will be broken down by aerobic (waste-degrading) bacteria.
Who is a septic tank for?
Septic tanks are ideal for homeowners who wish to embrace an off-grid lifestyle or those properties that cannot be connected to the public sewage lines. Septic systems offer numerous advantages over municipal plumbing, and can be more affordable on average, requiring only occasional repairs/emptying rather than monthly bills.
What are the different types of septic tanks?
Septic tanks come in all sorts of shapes, materials, and sizes. Understanding the differences between them is essential to pick the right one for your property. Here are the most common types:
- Concrete septic tanks
- Steel septic tanks
- Fiberglass septic tanks
- Polyethylene plastic septic tanks
While they all work through the same principles, their installation process can be very different.
How much is a septic tank?
The cost of a septic tank—which often includes installation—can vary depending on the size needed. For a three- or four-bedroom home, you will need a typical 1,250-gallon tank, which can cost between $1,500 to $5,000. Although, the average price paid by homeowners in the US for a septic tank is around $3,900.
How long does a septic tank last?
Septic tank systems represent a long-term investment, as they can last for over 30 years with the right maintenance and care. The lifespan varies depending on the material your septic tank is made of. For example, steel tanks last an average of 15-20 years, while concrete tanks can last 30-40 years – or even longer in the right conditions.
Are septic tanks good or bad for the environment?
Septic tanks are no more or less harmful to the environment than other waste disposal systems. However, they need to be installed and maintained properly.
Will my lifestyle be affected?
Septic tanks come with many benefits, but there are also some tips you need to know to make your septic tank system last longer. These include:
- Use biodegradable toilet paper
- Use bleach and household cleaning products in moderation
- Opt for mild and phosphate-free household chemicals
- Don’t throw solid waste in your sink or toilet
- Keep rainwater away from the drainage field
- Avoid flushing items into a septic tank such as nappies, sanitary products, wipes, fats/cooking oils, food scraps, coffee grinds, sanitary products, etc.
What’s the maintenance routine for septic tanks?
If you have a septic tank, you should keep an eye out for those signs that tell you that your waste management system needs repairing. Septic maintenance includes:
- Septic tank inspection – every 3 years
- Septic tank pumping – every 3-5 years
- Empty it regularly
- Learn to recognize the signs of a full septic tank.
Learn More About Septic Tanks At Economy Septic Tank Service
Septic tanks are extremely beneficial alternatives to standard waste management solutions. Even though septic systems have become increasingly popular over the last few decades, there are still misconceptions and doubts about them.
Above, we have answered some of your most commonly asked questions. For all of your other questions about septic installation, septic maintenance, or septic repair don’t hesitate to get in touch with Economy Septic Tank Service today.
We make septic ownership easy at Economy Septic!
Whether you’re building a new house, inheriting your septic system from an old owner, or considering switching to a septic system, Economy Septic can give you everything you need to understand, care for, and get the most out of your new waste management solution. To learn more, or to schedule maintenance or emptying, call (256)435-1086 today!