Believe it or not, more than 1 trillion gallons of waste go through septic systems across the world each and every year. A septic system is a type of self-contained water recycling system located underground in the backyard. An underground water tank receives and stores waste that is pumped from the house. Bacteria in the tank then decompose this waste into sludge, which settles into the tank. Effluent then flows into the ground via a drain system and eventually filters back down into the groundwater sources. Many homes don’t have access to a public sewer system, meaning they will need a septic tank for waste. However, before you purchase a septic tank, there are several things you should know.
- Consider soil permeability. Before you purchase a septic system, you will need to conduct soil and perc tests in order to determine soil permeability. It is important to note that traditional septic systems only work when the soil in the leach area is permeable enough to sufficiently absorb the liquid effluent that flows into it. There must be at least a few feet of good soil between the bottom of the leach pipes and the rock or impervious hardpan situated below it. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of permeable soil, a standard gravity-fed septic system might not be the right option for your property. In that case, you will need to consider an alternative septic system.
- Measure your water table. If your water table is too high, a traditional septic tank system might not be an option. In this case, you might want to consider a mound system. This works quite similarly to a traditional septic tank, but the leach field is raised.
- Make sure you understand local codes. Local codes will dictate the minimum distance allowed between tanks and drain fields and your home and well, as well as the size and specific makeup of the tank and drain field. Therefore, before you purchase and install a septic system, it is critical to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of the local codes that govern these minimum distances and layout rules.
- Consider whether you want a plastic septic system or a concrete septic system. Last but not least, you need to decide whether you want a plastic septic system or a concrete septic system. Keep in mind that plastic septic tanks are cheaper, but they aren’t allowed in every state. However, when value is more important than cost or when local building codes require it, a concrete septic tank is the better option.
The bottom line is that before purchasing a septic tank, you need to do some research to figure out which type of system is most appropriate for your specific situation.