Septic Tank Design and Construction
- The reinforcing steel is a mesh of 8 mm diameter reinforcing bars spaced 15 cms (6 inches) apart and built into a mesh box. Septic Tank Construction When casting the concrete shuttering (plywood formwork) is placed around the steel to form a box shaped mould ready to cast the concrete around the steel.
How is a septic tank constructed?
The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container usually made of concrete, fiberglass, or polyethylene. Compartments and a T-shaped outlet prevent the sludge and scum from leaving the tank and traveling into the drainfield area. The liquid wastewater (effluent) then exits the tank into the drainfield.
Can a septic tank be made of metal?
Types of Septic Tank Materials There are four major materials that septic tanks are manufactured with: concrete, steel, fiberglass, and plastic. Concrete has been the most widely used septic tank material since the 1880s. These tanks are durable enough to last for roughly 40 years.
Are steel septic tanks good?
Steel septic tanks are the least durable and least common septic tank option. They are designed to last no longer than 20-25 years and can start rusting sooner than that. Plastic septic tanks are also quite popular due to their durability and longevity.
How long do steel septic tanks last?
The life expectancy of a steel tank is shorter than a concrete one. Inspectapedia estimates that a steel tank baffles will rust out in 15 to 20 years and may collapse if driven over, but a concrete tank will last 40 years or more as long as the wastewater is not acidic.
How many chambers should a septic tank have?
New tanks must have two chambers, while older tanks may have only one. The tank is often made from concrete, but other materials are also used. The tank works by settling and microbial digestion of waste.
What should be the depth of septic tank?
Septic tank shall have minimum width of 750 mm, minimum depth of one metre below water level and a minimum liquid capacity of 1 000 litres.
What material is best for a septic tank?
The best choice is a precast concrete septic tank. Precast septic tanks hold many advantages over plastic, steel, or fiberglass tanks. This is why so many cities and towns actually require the use of concrete septic tanks.
What is the most common type of septic system?
Gravity systems are one of the most common types of septic systems. Due to their simplicity, a conventional gravity system is a very affordable option for single-family homes or small businesses. This system transports wastewater through gravity into the septic tank.
Do septic tanks have metal lids?
You can locate the lid of your septic tank by poking the ground every few feet with a metal probe. You can also use a metal detector, as most lids have a metal handle or fastener on them to keep the lid closed. Another reason you might not be able to find your lid is due to the depth it was buried.
How thick are steel septic tanks?
F. The top of the tank shall be constructed of reinforced concrete, at least four inches thick. G. When the tank is constructed of concrete, the walls and bottom shall be at least six inches thick and shall be adequately reinforced with steel or other approved material.
How big are metal septic tanks?
Our steel septic tanks come in a wide array of sizes from 500-gallon right up to 12,000-gallon, although most residential tanks fall into the 1,000-gallon to 2,500-gallon size range.
How big is a steel septic tank?
Septic tank design The size of the tanks differs but the commonest sizes are 1,000 and 1,500-gallon tanks. The ideal size of a septic system for a house is determined by two main things – the climatic conditions and the number of users.
How big is a leach field?
The leach field is a series of trenches that may be up to 100-feet long and 1 foot to 3 feet in width, separated by six feet or more, depending on local requirements, and sometimes constructed leaving space between the original lines to install replacement leach lines when needed.
Can a septic system last forever?
How long does a septic system last? On average, a new septic system will last for 20-30 years. Soil quality – the quality of soil will determine how durable your septic tank is. For instance, acidic groundwater can corrode a concrete septic tank.
Can you have a septic tank without a leach field?
The waste from most septic tanks flows to a soakaway system or a drainage field. If your septic tank doesn’t have a drainage field or soakaway system, the waste water will instead flow through a sealed pipe and empty straight into a ditch or a local water course.
Septic Tank Condition – How to Inspect Steel Septic Tanks
- INSTRUCTIONS: SUBMIT A QUESTION OR COMMENTONSTEEL septic tanks: unique difficulties, inspection, installation, troubleshooting, repairs, age, and longevity
InspectAPedia does not allow any form of conflict of interest. The sponsors, goods, and services described on this website are not affiliated with us in any way. Steel septic tank warnings include the following: This paper outlines how to examine the state of a septic tank, with additional considerations for examining steel septic tanks being included in addition. Steel septic tanks are a critical component of onsite wastewater disposal systems, and they must be regularly inspected. Steels septic tank faults, life expectancy, specific issues, and repair procedures are discussed in detail.
For this topic, we also have anARTICLE INDEX available, or you may check the top or bottom of the page.
STEEL SEPTIC TANKS – Life Expectancy, What Breaks, What to Look For, How to Fix a Damaged or Leaky Steel Septic Tank or Tank Cover or Baffle
Steel septic tanks generally survive 20-25 years before rusting and collapsing due to corrosion. If you don’t do this, steel baffles may rust off, clogging the drain field with sludge, the tank top may become corroded and dangerous, or the tank bottom may have rusted through before the time limit. The steel septic tank baffle can be seen in the lower left corner of this photograph; did you notice that the top corners of the baffle have corroded away over time? The steel septic tank lid in this photograph had rusted through and was covered with brush and roughly two inches of earth, as depicted in the photograph.
Guide to Steel Septic Tank Maintenance and Repair
Make sure to keep surface and roof runoff away from steel septic tanks or any other type of septic tank, as well as other septic system components such as D-boxes and drainfields. When unwelcome water is allowed to enter the system, it increases the danger of drainfield collapse and the failure of the septic system. The steel septic tank in the photograph is not only too close to the home (as was customary at the time of its construction in the 1960s), but it is also too close to a roof drainage downspout, which is a safety hazard.
Special Hazard Warning for Steel Septic Tank Covers
Keep an eye out for: Steel tank covers that have rusted may be deadly! Covers that are rusted might collapse. As recently as December 1997, we have received reports of children and adults who have died as a result of this danger. In 2000, the author was consulted in the case of a death involving an adult who had fallen into a sanitary sewer. During a construction inspection, the author, although taking caution not to trip over a buried, rusted-through steel septic tank lid, was caught by surprise (shown in the photos above on this page).
This might be a steel septic tank that has collapsed, or it could be a steel access riser to a cesspool that has been constructed out of stones.
Furthermore, there was no secure cover.
Septic gases are very hazardous and can cause death within minutes of being exposed to them. Even leaning over an empty tank (that had just been pumped) has resulted in the collapse and death of a sewage pumper.
Special Problem with Rusted Off Baffles in Steel Septic Tanks – repair may be possible
Baffling issues with steel septic tanks: On a steel septic tank, the baffles at the inlet and exit are frequently rusted out and break off before the owner notices that the tank requires repair or replacement. It is on the right side of the manhole of this septic tank (picture at left). Solids are able to enter the soil absorption system as a result of this degradation. The steel septic tank baffle depicted in the photo above on this page has rusted away at the top, which can be seen in the bottom left of the tank top aperture in the photo above.
Should we repair a steel septic tank that has lost its baffles?
If a steel septic tank is otherwise in good condition, but its baffles have gotten broken or have been lost totally, placing a plastic tee into the intake and outlet waste lines may be a viable alternative solution. Baffling, or septic tank teeing, is used to prevent solid waste from flowing out of the tank into the drainfield, as well as to prevent waste flow into the tank from the building it serves from being blocked. For further information on this septic system component, please seeSEPTIC TANK TEES (PDF).
Here’s an example: this steel septic tank is still holding effluent, but its sides are crumbling and its baffles have been removed, and it is likely missing its protective septic tank cover.
Until the tank can be replaced, it should be cordoned off and kept out of reach of the public and employees.
Steel Septic Tank SideBottom Rust-Out, Leaks, Abnormal Sewage Levels
Steel tank bottoms rust away, allowing effluent to escape into the soils around the tank and, in certain cases, creating a big void in the tank at the time of testing, so causing a loading or dye test to be invalidated. Because steel tank tops can be replaced while the previous tank is still in place, the condition of the top itself is not a good predictor of the state of the tank in question. You may tell whether a steel septic tank has a leak if the bottom or lower sides are missing by observing that the amount of sewage in the septic tank is lower than the level of sewage in the outlet baffle or pipe for a septic tank that is currently in use and has not been pumped out.
Technical content contributors
Thank you so much to
- In addition to being a trained ASHI home inspector, a Licensed Pesticide Applicator, a BPI Building Analyst, and an Envelope Professional with 18 years of house inspection experience, Lawrence Transue is also a Pennsylvania building scientist and consultant. Lawrence Transue may be reached at the following numbers: 610.417.0763 and by email:[email protected] His WEB SITE and FACEBOOK pages are also worth checking out.
Reader CommentsQ A
Lola Thank you for taking the time to leave such a valuable remark. When you have your septic tank pumped, you may want to have a professional evaluate the baffles and the tank itself to ensure that they are in good working order. Considering the age of the tank, it would not be surprising if the baffles and even the sides and bottom of the tank had not rusted away by now @ Crystal, Yes, this is a possibility. On our steel septic tank, which was built in 1960, we have a concrete lid. It is still operational.
Crystal Anything is conceivable when it comes to the variety of things that individuals do to and with their structures, but it would be odd to find a concrete cover on a metal septic tank.
Be cautious if you notice signs that the septic tank lid is tipping, settling, breaking, or collapsing; this is a very dangerous and potentially fatal hazard (if someone falls into the tank).
Hello, we have a concrete cover on our septic tank that we would like to remove.
Is it feasible to install a concrete cover on top of a metal septic tank?. Continue reading atSEPTIC TANK BAFFLES, or choose a topic from the closely-related articles listed below, or see the completeARTICLE INDEX for more information. Alternatively, consider the following:
- THE TROUBLE WITH THE SEPTIC SYSTEM: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN IT DOESN’T
- SEPTIC TANKS-WHERE DO I START?
- SEPTIC TANK BACK FLOODING
- SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES
- SEPTIC TANK TEES
- SEPTIC TANK CLEANING
- SEPTIC TANK, HOW TO FIND
- SEPTIC TANK LEAKS
- SEPTIC TANK LEVELS OF SEWAGE
- SEPTIC TANK SAFETY
- SEPTIC TANK TESTING
Suggested citation for this web page
ASSESSMENT OF SEPTIC TANKS, STEEL An online encyclopedia of building environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, and issue preventive information is available at Apedia.com. Alternatively, have a look at this.
INDEX to RELATED ARTICLES:ARTICLE INDEX to SEPTIC SYSTEMS
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Steel Septic Tanks: History and Information for Homeowners
Steel septic tanks may be found in many older properties. Learn all you need to know about steel septic tanks so that you can properly care for your home’s septic system in the future. 11.14.2018 In some cases, having your home linked to a private sewer system rather than the public sewer system might be advantageous. Although you are directly responsible for the septic tank and system that is installed underground on your property, it is important that you as a homeowner educate yourself on the subject of septic tanks and systems.
Steel septic tanks, which were one of the first types of septic tanks to be used in contemporary septic systems, have been in production for a long time and are still in use today.
Examine what you need know about steel septic tanks in order to effectively care for your private septic system in this article.
History of Steel Septic Tanks
For about 3,000 years, residential sanitation has been a constantly changing concept, yet the first septic tanks were not invented until the 1940s. The originals were most typically made of concrete that was poured into wooden shapes that were set in the ground before being painted. Around 1940, a workable standard for septic tanks became popular in most locations, prompting the development of precast metal tanks not long afterwards. Most people referred to these first steel tanks as dickey tanks because they were similar in size to 500-gallon steel drums that came with a top or cover attached to them.
Lifespan of Steel Septic Tanks
There is a solid reason why most modern homes are built with septic tanks composed of concrete, fiberglass, or other materials rather than natural stone. Steel septic tanks do not have a particularly lengthy lifespan when compared to other types of tanks since they are the least robust of the options available. The average lifespan of a steel septic tank is 20-25 years, and many of them fail much before that. Much if the tank itself is in good condition, steel septic tanks are often equipped with a steel lid, which can degrade at a pace that is even quicker than the tank itself.
In fact, the steel lids have deteriorated to the point that standing over the septic tank would put you in danger of falling through.
Common Problems With Steel Septic Tanks
Another reason steel septic tanks are not as popular as they once were in modern times is the fact that they are more prone to malfunctioning. The corrosion of steel tanks is far faster than that of their equivalents composed of other materials, as previously stated. If the steel septic tank on your property was erected more than 30 years ago, it is likely to be riddled with cracks and holes. Steel tanks can also be troublesome for a variety of reasons, including:
- They are susceptible to rusting, which can result in holes and problems with collapse
- In the subterranean, they might be vulnerable to tree root damage. Because of their poor state, they might be difficult to remove once they have failed. They may need to be pumped more often in order to avoid damage to the tank.
Because of septic systems, towns in Webster County, Missouri, have had serious problems with ground contamination for several years. One of the unique concerns with the septic systems in the region was the presence of leaking steel septic tanks. It became necessary to do soil analyses with every new tank installation in 2015 since the situation had gotten so terrible. If your older house is equipped with a steel septic tank, you will need to be extra vigilant in keeping it in good condition and on the lookout for indicators of trouble.
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4 Types of Septic Tanks – HomeAdvisor
The characteristics of each type of septic tank are crucial to understand whether you’re deciding which type of tank to use in conjunction with your septic system or solving a problem with your existing tank. Each installation option has its own set of pros and limitations, just like any other installation. Knowing the relative advantages and disadvantages of each option will assist you in making the right selection while establishing, repairing, or replacing your septic tank. Please keep in mind that most of these issues are the consequence of improper septic maintenance or installation.
The cost of an inspection might vary significantly based on a variety of criteria.
- Solid Waste Container— Solid waste containers made of concrete are prone to cracking and even separation. These fissures, which are usually extremely durable for several decades, might appear sooner if a poor quality concrete mix was used or if the septic system has not been adequately maintained. These gaps will allow effluence (waste) to leak out of the concrete septic tank and/or allow groundwater to seep in through the tank’s drainage system. Either scenario is undesirable. The system may get clogged as a result of a blockage. Runoff is harmful, but it will not be discovered by a typical dye test since it is invisible. If a concrete septic tank is not physically inspected, it is possible that the problem will not be discovered until it is too late and major difficulties have developed. Tanks made of steel are the least long-lasting and most unpopular of the available tank options. They are intended to survive no more than 20-25 years, although they can succumb to rust even earlier than that. Steel top covers have the potential to rust through, allowing an unwary individual to fall into the tank. It is possible to change these covers without having to replace the complete tank. If you’re purchasing a property or already live in one that has a steel septic tank cover, personally viewing the cover will not necessarily provide you a clear indicator of the general state of your tank in the long run. As with any septic tank, pay particular attention to the baffles (entry and exit points) because they are the first to corrode in most cases. Fiberglass/Plastic Septic Tank—Unlike steel and concrete septic tanks, plastic septic tanks are virtually immune to the corrosion and cracking that occurs in steel and concrete septic tanks. Nonetheless, they have their own set of difficulties that should be kept an eye out for. In some cases, a low effluent level might indicate that a blockage at the bottom of the tank has gotten dislodged. Pumping should be performed even if the effluent level seems to be normal throughout the process
- Nevertheless, any clogs should be carefully checked after the pumping. It is possible that the process of pumping a septic tank will be sufficient to remove a clog.
- In spite of the fact that plastic septic tanks are more resistant to the chemical processes that occur naturally in a septic system, their lower weight makes them more prone to structural damage. It is necessary to install the tank with care in order to avoid damage to the tank. It is important to take careful notice of the land above the tank. Avoid driving any vehicles over the tank’s filling station. During periods of wet soil, the lighter can also cause the tank to shift in its position in the ground. Occasionally, a plastic septic tank may emerge from the earth, destroying pipes along the way.
- Using oxygen to help in the degradation of the effluent is what aerobic septic tanks are all about, according to the manufacturer. They also necessitate the use of power. When a septic system fails, aerobic septic tanks are most frequently utilized to replace it. They can also, on occasion, minimize the amount of space necessary for their drain field. Aerobic septic tanks are generally two to three times more expensive than conventional septic tanks, but their high efficiency can result in significant savings in terms of reclaimed land in the drain field and a longer tank life. The capacity of an aerobic septic tank to function has nothing to do with its long-term dependability. A more regular and more thorough maintenance schedule is required for an aerobic septic system. Because of its more intricate breakdown structure, there is a greater possibility that something may go wrong. However, if the system is properly maintained, its effectiveness will allow you to keep your effluent under control for an almost unlimited period of time.
- Important Caution: Exercise extra caution when in the vicinity of open or uncovered sewage tanks. Falling into a sewage tank will almost always result in death due to asphyxiation. The simple act of leaning over a septic tank might lead you to pass out.
Our True Cost Report gathers information from homeowners on the expenses of small and big capacity septic systems. Use this resource while planning your installation project’s financial budget.
Steel Underground Septic Tanks
Greer is a manufacturer of underground septic tanks made of strong steel. Our steel septic tanks have two compartments and may be buriable to a depth of ten feet in the ground. Septic tanks made of steel may be purchased from us in a variety of sizes that vary from 500-gallon to 12,000-gallon, with the majority of residential tanks falling between the 1,000-gallon and the 2,500-gallon range. Click on the link below to see the complete variety of sizes available, or call 1-800-725-8108 to speak with a representative about your needs.
Steel Underground Septic Tanks Product Details
- Buriable up to 10 feet in height
- Durable steel construction
- Dual compartments
Steel Septic Tanks:
4 Types of Septic Tank Materials
1 minute is allotted for reading A septic tank is a tank that collects sewage and treats it through bacterial decomposition. Septic tanks are often buried underground. A decent septic tank is essential for a successful septic system, and the quality of the tank is determined by the type of material utilized in its construction. To choose a decent septic tank, it is necessary to be familiar with the many types of septic tank materials, as well as their pros and disadvantages, which are briefly discussed below.
Depending on the materials used in the production process, septic tanks may be divided into four main varieties, which are as follows:
- Septic tanks are available in a variety of materials, including concrete, steel, plastic, and fiberglass.
1. Concrete Septic Tank
Concrete septic tanks are large and heavy, and they are often pre-cast to make installation easier. The specific gravity of these precast concrete tanks is around 2.40, which makes them sturdy enough to withstand the buoyant forces that occur when they are put in the ground. In addition, their strength progressively grows over time. Concrete septic tanks are classified into two varieties depending on their structural configuration: single structure tanks and all-in-one systems. Single structure tanks are the most common form of concrete septic tank.
Some of the benefits and drawbacks of precast concrete septic tanks are discussed in further detail below.
- The enormous weight of concrete septic tanks means that they will not float if the water table is close to the tank level. Concrete septic tanks have a very long life cycle, and they may last for several decades if properly maintained. They are sturdy enough to withstand heavy machinery and are not readily destroyed. They are resistant to corrosion.
- When compared to other types of tank materials, it is more expensive. When something is damaged, it is difficult to fix. The transportation and installation of pre-cast concrete septic tanks necessitates the use of large equipment, making the process more complicated. The use of a low-quality concrete mix results in the formation of fissures, which allow the effluent to escape.
2. Steel Septic Tanks
When compared to other forms of tank materials, concrete is more expensive. Damaged equipment is difficult to fix. In order to transport and install pre-cast concrete septic tanks, large equipment is necessary, making installation a more difficult task. Using a low-quality concrete mix results in the formation of fissures, which allow the effluent to escape.
- The considerable weight of steel septic tanks ensures that they will not float when the water table is close to the tank. In addition, they have strong resistance to buoyant forces
- Due to the ease with which steel corrodes, the lifespan of steel tanks is significantly reduced when compared to alternative septic tank materials. A high price for a low level of durability The removal of rusted steel septic tanks from the earth is a difficult task. Their deteriorating condition may put them in potentially unsafe circumstances.
Fig. 3: Corroded steel sewage treatment tank
3. Plastic Septic Tanks
They are also known as poly septic tanks since they are made of polyethylene plastic, which is the material from which they are composed of. Because they are lighter in weight and rustproof than concrete and steel septic tanks, they are an excellent alternative to these materials. Plastic septic tanks are less cumbersome to carry and install because of their reduced weight. Plastic septic tanks have specific gravities in the range of 0.97 to 0.98, which is lower than the specific gravity of water, causing the tank to float when the water table is close to it.
The following are some of the pros and downsides of using plastic septic tanks.
- When compared to other types of septic tank materials, plastic septic tanks are more cost-effective. They are simple to handle and install
- They are chemically resistant
- And they are lightweight. Abrasion and corrosion resistance
- Good resistance to breaking
- When the water table is close to the tank bottom, it may push the tank higher, causing plastic septic tanks to float as a result of the weight of the water in the tank. They are susceptible to harm when exposed to extreme circumstances
- Heavy weights should not be placed or moved over the plastic septic tank since this may cause it to distort and change its shape, which may eventually result in the tank exploding owing to the high pressure within.
4. Fiberglass Septic Tank
Using fiber reinforced polymers, fiberglass septic tanks are manufactured (FRP). They are similar in appearance to plastic septic tanks, but the addition of glass fiber reinforcement makes them far stronger than plastic tanks. They are also rather light in weight and simple to move around. A consequence of the tank’s decreased weight is the possibility of it floating or moving, which may be avoided by properly securing the tank to the ground. Some of the pros and disadvantages of fiberglass septic tanks are as follows: They are lightweight, durable, and cost-effective.
5: Septic Tank Made of Fiberglass
- Septic tanks made of concrete and steel are more expensive. When opposed to plastic septic tanks, concrete septic tanks have more robustness. High durability
- Corrosion resistance
- And watertightness.
- In the same way that plastic septic tanks are unable to withstand buoyant pressures, fiberglass septic tanks will float or move when the water table is brought closer to them.
More information may be found at:Septic Tank – Components and Design of Septic Tank Depending on the Number of People
Evolution Of The Septic System
In the beginning, when man desired some solitude and shelter from the weather while performing his “chores,” he dug a hole in the ground, lined it with stone, brick, wood, or any other available material, and erected a “outhouse” on top of it. Gravity was responsible for transporting the garbage to its final resting spot. Eventually, if the hole became too large, the outhouse was relocated to a new place. With the creation of the flush toilet by Thomas Crapper, man was finally able to do his household responsibilities in the comfort of his own home.
- He connected the pipe to the pit that supplied the outhouse and covered the hole to keep the odor under control and to prevent the neighbor’s dogs and children from falling into the pit and drowning.
- It soon became apparent that thecesspoolcouldn’t always manage the additional strain caused by the wastewater in addition to the garbage.
- The term “septic tank” was used to describe this treatment chamber.
- Because it was the component of the system that returned “clarified” wastewater to the earth, the old pit remained in place.
- Because of extensive use, bad soil conditions, the age of the system, or any combination of the foregoing, the drywell may get blocked from time to time.
- It is common practice to build a second (or third, or fourth) drywell following a first drywell in order to expand the soil absorption area.
- In later years, as mankind grew more concerned with safeguarding the environment, it was discovered that many septic systems were installed too deeply into the earth.
- According to New Hampshire laws, any leaching element of a septic system (the part that returns water to the earth) must be at least four feet above the seasonal high-water table in order to function properly.
- Around the same time, the majority of installers made the changeover from the old-fashioned steel septic tanks to the newer, presumably more durable concrete septic tanks (shown here).
- To bring wastewater up to thesemound systems, it is now necessary to build pumps in many situations.
- The likelihood is that you have a blueprint accessible that shows you the sort of system you have and its location if you have a reasonably new system that incorporates one of these current advancements.
Using the Troubleshooting Guide that comes with the system should assist you in determining what sort of system you have and also what is wrong with it if you are experiencing a problem. Good luck, and go to work on troubleshooting.
How Long Will Your Septic Tank Last?
It is still an important system in any home, but because most people pay little or no attention to their septic tanks until they have a big problem, it has become the least well-maintained system in most structures. Fortunately, this is changing. When sewage backs up into a house or foul smells permeate the backyard, most people don’t pay attention to their septic tanks until they experience a problem. Similarly, the majority of people are under the impression that septic tanks are built to endure forever, but the fact is that, on average, septic tanks are known to survive anywhere between 15 and 40 years.
How often do you pump your septic system
The most effective method of keeping your septic tank in good condition is to have it cleaned or pumped on a regular basis. As a general rule, it is recommended that septic tanks be flushed at least once every two or three years. Septic tank service companies that are of high quality will not only pump out your tank, but they will also check it and provide recommendations for any repairs or further maintenance that should be performed on the system.
The type of tank you have
If the acidity of the soil around the septic tank is high enough, steel septic tanks will corrode over time and become unusable. A steel septic tank begins to rust by first losing its baffles (which causes clogging in the drain field) and then rusting at the bottom or sides of the tank. A steel tank that has been in use for 15 to 20 years or more is likely to have corroded. A concrete septic tank, on the other hand, typically has a lifespan of more than 40 years, depending on the conditions. However, the acidity of the soil surrounding the tank, as well as the quality of the materials used in its construction, have a significant role in its performance.
The soil condition under and surrounding the drain-field has a significant impact on the type of tank that may be put in such regions, as well as the lifetime of such tanks. Acidic soils have been shown to have a negative impact on septic tanks, regardless of the materials used in their construction. It is normally recommended that property owners choose reputable organizations that will go as far as assessing the surrounding area and making recommendations on what type of tank to install.
Water usage in the building:
It is important to note that how much water is used in the building will have a significant impact on the longevity of the septic system. A septic drain-field will become saturated if the water use is extraordinary or unexpected. This will result in the drain-field failing.
Septic tanks should not be sited near floodplains or in areas where the water table is high, since this will result in the tank’s lifespan being significantly reduced.
A large number of homeowners who place their septic tanks in close proximity to trees have experienced problems with tree roots infiltrating their septic system.
Continued neglect of a septic tank reduces the lifespan of the sewage system and may end in system failure, which may need the replacement of the soil absorption field entirely. Posts from the recent past
Sizes of Septic Tanks & Shapes
Most septic tanks are built of fiberglass, plastic, or reinforced concrete, with certain exceptions. Metal tanks are also available, but because of their tendency to corrode quickly, they are not normally advised. Septic tanks are available in a variety of shapes, including rectangular, round, and oval, however the design of a septic tank does not normally alter its operation. When selecting a septic tank, the most critical consideration is ensuring that the tank is the appropriate size for your home’s needs.
Concrete Tank Construction
Concrete septic tanks are large and heavy, and their form is commonly rectangular. They’re often built in one of three ways: with a mid-seal, a top-seal, or a monolithic construction. Mid-seal tanks are made up of two sections that are bonded together with mastic sealant to form one unit. A top-seal tank is a one-piece tank with a concrete cover that is attached to the tank. Monolithic cast tanks are constructed in a factory as a single unit, making them more waterproof than other forms of concrete tanks, but they are also more expensive than other types of concrete tanks.
Fiberglass and Plastic Tanks
In circular or capsule-like designs, fiberglass and plastic tanks have a nearly impenetrable waterproof seal and are therefore ideal for use in the marine environment. They are more expensive than concrete units, but because these tanks are formed as a single piece, there are no seams, the tanks are lightweight, and they are more resistant to impact cracks than concrete tanks, according to Atanis Water Tank Co., Ltd. Although they are more expensive than concrete units,
A Range of Tank Sizes
Septic tank capacities are measured in gallons, and are determined by the quantity of sewage that the tank can contain in total. It is necessary for septic tanks to store at least two days’ worth of sewage from your residence in order for the solids to be adequately separated from the liquids before the liquids are allowed to enter the absorption area. The size of the tank is determined by the number of bedrooms in your home. Standard tank sizes are generally 1,000, 1,250, and 1,500 gallons, and they are sufficient for the majority of residences in the United States.
A four-bedroom home requires a tank with a minimum liquid capacity of 1,250 gallons, while a five-bedroom residence requires a tank with a minimum liquid capacity of 1,500 gallons.
Estimating Your Needed Tank Size
The size of the tank is computed using a straightforward formula, while other considerations, such as the soil type, must be taken into consideration. Therefore, it is important to have a professional analyze the site and your property in order to decide the optimal size of tank for your needs and requirements. According to the University of Missouri Extension, to obtain a sense of the minimum size required for your home, multiply 150 gallons each bedroom by two, and then double the total by two to account for the 48-hour retention time required.
Assuming your property has more than six bedrooms, or five bedrooms plus a hot tub, you would multiply 150 times 6, and the resultant figure (900) would be increased by two to give you a minimum liquid capacity of 1,800 gallons.
How Does a Septic Tank Work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family You may save a lot of money if you understand how a sewage treatment system works—and what can go wrong—so that you can handle your own septic system maintenance.
How does a septic tank work?
Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-Us. By understanding how a septic tank works—and what may go wrong with it—you will be able to save a lot of money on septic system maintenance in the future.
Understand that a septic system is a cafeteria for bacteria
Bacteria are responsible for the proper operation of a septic system. They decompose garbage, resulting in water that is clean enough to safely trickle down into the earth’s surface. The entire system is set up to keep bacteria healthy and busy at all times. Some of them reside in the tank, but the majority of them are found in the drain field. 1. The septic tank is the final destination for all waste. 2. The majority of the tank is filled with watery waste, referred to as “effluent.” Anaerobic bacteria begin to break down the organic matter in the effluent as soon as it enters the system.
- A layer of sludge settles to the bottom of the container.
- Scum is mostly constituted of fats, greases, and oils, among other substances.
- Grease and oils float to the surface of the water.
- (5) A filter stops the majority of particles from reaching the exit pipe.
- The effluent is discharged into the drain field.
- Effluent is allowed to leak into the surrounding gravel because of holes in the drain septic field pipe.
- The garbage is completely decomposed by aerobic bacteria found in gravel and dirt.
- Potable water seeps into the groundwater and aquifer system from the surface.
Septic Tank Clean Out: Don’t abuse the system
Septic systems that have been correctly planned and constructed require just occasional ‘pumping’ to remove the sludge and scum that has built up inside the tank. However, if you don’t understand how a septic tank works, you may unintentionally hurt or even destroy the system.
- Drains are used to dispose of waste that decomposes slowly (or not at all). Cigarette butts, diapers, and coffee grounds are all known to cause issues. Garbage disposers, if utilized excessively, can introduce an excessive amount of solid waste into the system. Lint from synthetic fibers is emitted from washing machine lint traps. This substance is not degraded by bacteria in the tank and drain septic field. Bacteria are killed by chemicals found in the home, such as disinfecting cleansers and antibacterial soaps. The majority of systems are capable of withstanding limited usage of these goods, but the less you use them, the better. When a large amount of wastewater is produced in a short period of time, the tank is flushed away too quickly. When there is too much sludge, bacteria’s capacity to break down waste is reduced. Sludge can also overflow into the drain field if there is too much of it. Sludge or scum obstructs the flow of water via a pipe. It is possible for tree and shrub roots to obstruct and cause harm to a drain field. Compacted soil and gravel prevent wastewater from seeping into the ground and deprive germs of oxygen. Most of the time, this is caused by vehicles driving or parking on the drain field.
Get your tank pumped…
Your tank must be emptied on a regular basis by a professional. Pumping eliminates the accumulation of sludge and scum that has accumulated in the tank, which has caused the bacterial action to be slowed. If you have a large tank, it may be necessary to pump it once a year; but, depending on the size of your tank and the quantity of waste you send through the system, you may go two or three years between pumpings. Inquire with your inspector about an approximate guideline for how frequently your tank should be pumped.
…but don’t hire a pumper until you need it
Inspections and pumping should be performed on a regular basis. However, if you’re not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may verify the sludge level yourself with a gadget known as The Sludge Judge.
It ranges in price from $100 to $125 and is commonly accessible on the internet. Once you’ve verified that your tank is one-third full with sludge, you should contact a professional to come out and pump it out completely.
Install an effluent filter in your septic system
Inspections and pumping should be performed on an ongoing basis. The Sludge Judge is a device that allows you to examine the level of sludge in your own home if you are not afraid of heights. There are several internet retailers who sell it for $100 to $125. In the event that you discover that your tank is one-third full of sludge, contact a contractor to come pump it out for you.
Septic tank filter close-up
The septic tank filter is responsible for capturing suspended particles that may otherwise block the drain field pipes. Obtain an effluent filter for your tank from your contractor and place it on the outflow pipe of your tank. (It will most likely cost between $50 and $100, plus labor.) This device, which helps to prevent sediments from entering the drain field, will need to be cleaned out on a regular basis by a contractor to maintain its effectiveness.
Solution for a clogged septic system
If your septic system becomes clogged and you find yourself having to clean the filter on a regular basis, you might be tempted to simply remove the filter altogether. Hold on to it. Solids, wastewater, and scum are separated into three levels in septic tanks, which allows them to function properly (see illustration above). Solids sink to the bottom of the container, where microbes breakdown them. The scum, which is made up of trash that is lighter than water, rises to the surface. In the drainage field, the middle layer of effluent leaves the tank and goes through an underground network of perforated pipes to the drainage field.
- Keep the effluent filter in place since it is required by your state’s health law.
- Waste particles might flow through the filter and clog the perforated pipes if the filter is not used.
- Your filter, on the other hand, should not require cleaning every six months.
- A good chance is high that you’re flushing filter-clogging things down the toilet, such as grease, fat, or food scraps.
- A garbage disposal will not be able to break down food particles sufficiently to allow them to flow through the septic tank filtration system.
- Plastic items, disposable diapers, paper towels, nonbiodegradable goods, and tobacco products will clog the system if they are flushed through it.
For additional information on what should and should not be flushed down the toilet, contact your local health authority. More information on removing lint from your laundry may be found here.
Get an inspection
Following a comprehensive first check performed by an expert, regular inspections will cost less than $100 each inspection for the next year. Your professional will be able to inform you how often you should get your system inspected as well as how a septic tank functions. As straightforward as a septic system appears, determining its overall condition necessitates the services of a professional. There are a plethora of contractors who would gladly pump the sludge out of your tank, but many, in my experience, are unable to explain how a septic system works or how it should be maintained.
A certification scheme for septic contractors has been established in certain states; check with your state’s Secretary of State’s office to see whether yours is one of them.
Also, a qualified inspector will be able to tell you whether or not your tank is large enough to accommodate your household’s needs, as well as the maximum amount of water that can be passed through it in a single day.
As you learn more about how a septic tank works, your professional should be able to tell you whether or not your system will benefit from this treatment.
Alternatives to a new drain field
If an examination or a sewage backup indicate that your drain field is in need of replacement, the only option is to replace it completely. As a result, it’s important to talk with a contractor about other possibilities before proceeding with the project.
- Pipes should be cleaned. A rotating pressure washer, used by a contractor, may be used to clean out the drain septic field pipes. The cost of “jetting” the pipes is generally around $200. Chemicals should be used to clean the system. A commercial solution (not a home-made one) that enhances the quantity of oxygen in the drain field should be discussed with your contractor before installing your new system. Septic-Scrub is a product that I suggest. A normal treatment will cost between $500 and $1,000. Make the soil more pliable. The practice of “terra-lifting,” which involves pumping high-pressure air into several spots surrounding the drain field, is authorized in some regions. Some contractors use it to shatter compacted dirt around the pipes. Depending on the circumstances, this might cost less than $1,000 or as much as $4,000 or more.
Protect your drain septic field from lint
When this device is in place, it inhibits lint from entering the system, especially synthetic fibers that bacteria are unable to digest. One of these filters, which I’ve designed and termed theSeptic Protector, was invented by me. An additional filter is included in the price of around $150 plus delivery. Learn more about how to filter out laundry lint in this article.
Don’t overload the septic system
Reduce the amount of water you use. The volume of water that flows into your tank, particularly over a short period of time, can be reduced to avoid untreated waste from being flushed into your drain field. Replace outdated toilets with low-flow ones, install low-flow showerheads, and, perhaps most importantly, wash laundry throughout the week rather than just on Saturday mornings to save water.
Meet the Expert
Septic systems, according to Jim vonMeier, are the solution to America’s water deficit because they supply cleaned water to depleted aquifers, according to vonMeier. He travels the country lobbying for septic systems, giving lectures, and giving testimony. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him by email.
3 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SEPTIC TANK BAFFLES
As a result of its ability to supply filtered water to depleted aquifers, Jim vonMeier believes that septic systems are the solution to America’s water deficit.
As an advocate for septic systems around the country, he speaks at conferences, gives lectures, and appears in court. For septic system inquiries, as well as information on the operation of the septic tank, contact him through email or letter.
Septic Tank: Size Matters
Septic systems are not the sort of system that is “one size fits all.” Even if one size tank may be sufficient for one home, this does not imply that it will be sufficient for all households. Talking with a plumbing and septic tank specialist will be your best bet for ensuring that you purchase the proper size tank for your needs. This article will provide you with the fundamental knowledge you need to get started on your home repair and plumbing projects.
Things to consider
The following factors should be taken into consideration when selecting the amount of septic tank that your property requires; for example,
- The following factors should be taken into consideration when selecting the amount of septic tank your home requires:
Septic tanks are typically available in sizes ranging from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons in capacity. We need some background information before we can get into the meat of the discussion.
What is a Septic Tank?
Septic tanks are self-contained, subterranean chambers or containers that are meant to retain wastewater generated by a home or other building. Generally speaking, septic systems are composed of two major components: the tank and the drain field. As soon as the wastewater exits your home, it will begin to flow into the holding tank. Solid waste will settle to the bottom of the tank, forming a “sludge” layer on the bottom of the tank. Other liquids, such as oil and grease soap residue, will float to the surface, forming the “scum” layer on the surface.
Eventually, when the tank fills, the effluent drains from the tank and onto the drain field, where it is absorbed by the earth.
Are there Different Types of Septic Tanks?
That’s an excellent question! Yes, several sorts of materials are used to construct your septic tank by the manufacturer. When it comes to placing the tank, it all comes down to personal style, affordability, and maneuverability. Let us have a look at the many sorts of tanks that are most typically encountered:
Concrete Septic Tanks
Designed to endure several decades, these tanks are one of the most robust solutions available for your household plumbing requirements. However, because they are the heaviest of the materials, their upkeep and installation will almost certainly be more expensive. Another thing to keep in mind is that they are prone to cracking, which can result in wastewater spilling into the surrounding ground and potentially polluting drinking water.
Plastic Septic Tanks
These tanks are built to survive for several decades, making them one of the most long-lasting solutions available for your household plumbing requirements. Their installation and upkeep will, however, be more expensive due to the fact that they are the heaviest of the available materials. Another thing to keep in mind is that they are prone to cracking, which can result in wastewater spilling into the surrounding ground and potentially polluting drinking water supplies.
Fiberglass Septic Tanks
This sort of tank is more robust than plastic since it is less likely to flex or shift when it is placed in a stable location.
Additionally, they are more cost-effective than concrete septic tanks because to their lightweight and noncorrosive nature both within and outside the tank. Unlike plastic or concrete tanks, they are also less prone to suffer structural damage than those materials.
Steel Septic Tanks
These tanks are becoming increasingly rare, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility of seeing one in the future. Steel is the least expensive of the materials used in septic tanks, but it does so at the expense of durability. Despite the fact that they are intended to endure between 20 and 25 years, they frequently rust before they have reached their entire lifespan. Now that we’ve covered the essential background material, let’s move on to the actual subject at hand.
What Size Septic Tank Do You Need?
- Home with fewer than 1.500 square feet = 750-gallon tank
- Home with fewer than 2,500 square feet = 1,000-gallon tank
- Home with fewer than 3,500 square feet = 1,250-gallon tank
- Home with fewer than 4,500 square feet = 1,250-gallon tank
- And home with fewer than 5,500 square feet = 1,315-gallon tank
- Home with fewer than 2,500 square feet = 1,315-gallon tank
Keep in mind that the information provided above is only a preliminary approximation. The actual size of the tank you want will be determined by a combination of the criteria listed above as well as the regulations of your local jurisdiction. Talking to a professional plumber and septic system installation is your best choice for ensuring that you are not only complying with local standards, but that you are also getting the “most bang for your buck.” Back-ups or the need for more frequent pumping and maintenance may result if you choose the incorrect size septic tank or if you have too many people living in a home with a smaller septic tank.
If you choose the incorrect size septic tank or have too many people living in a home with a smaller septic tank If you’re ready to become a member of the septic tank family, get in touch with us right away!
Please contact us for more information.