Property owners who do not have access to their city’s sewage system have small-scale sewage systems installed in their back yards. These personal sewers are often referred to as Septic Systems.
How does the System Work?
The System relies on two important parts, which are the tank and the drainfield. When you use water in the sink or a shower, or flush the toilet, the wastewater goes down through pipes to a large, underground container called a Septic Tank. In the tank, solid matter is filtered out and mixed with chemicals to form sludge like substance that rests at the bottom of the tank. Liquid waste is further filtered and disbursed through a network of pipes into a drainfield.
Although the function and structure of septic system is easy to understand, several additional factors are important to keep in mind when getting one installed at your home. We look at each of those considerations to help you decide the best type of septic tank for your use.
Size of the Tank
When getting a septic tank installed at your place it is very important to get the size correct. A tank that is too big for your needs would be a waste of money. And if the tank turns out too small, it won’t be able to service the entire household; this would further cause the tank to overflow, push sewage back into the house and clog the pipes.
In order to figure out an appropriately sized Septic Tank for you, we make use of EPA’s data which says that an average sized family home uses around 70 gallons of water per individual, per day. Multiplying the number of people in your household by 70 and then adding 400 to the answer (to compensate for solid waste) would give you a fair estimate of the amount of gallons of wastewater your septic tank should be able to hold.
Material of the Tank
Septic tanks are made from a variety of materials. Each has their specific use. We discuss them in more detail below.
A concrete tank is useful because it can be formed in any shape. If your property is small or a rectangular field is not available for a regularly shaped tank, a tank of concrete structure can be made out in a suitable form. However, with concrete structures extra care could be required as they are prone to damage from water erosion.
Steel is light in weight therefore suitable for areas that have soft soils. But it can also start to rust in a few years which could require constant repairing.
Fiberglass is lightweight, watertight and sturdy. It is also the most widely used material for tanks. However, tanks made from fiberglass are usually more expensive from other types of tanks.
It is important to match the needs of your household with what options you have when purchasing a Septic Tank. Beyond what was mentioned here it is also important to be aware of your local construction codes and municipal recommendations to make the best choice.