Many factors determine exactly how long a septic tank system will last. Everything from nearby tree roots to groundwater flooding may affect the system. For most homeowners, the answer is between 15 and 40 years.
If you’re wondering whether you should invest in septic tank repair or replacement, then read on.
Types of systems and longevity
There are three main types of septic tank systems:
- Drain field: A large drain field system that’s regularly serviced could last for up to five decades. However, the lifespan varies considerably depending on the drain field’s size, the frequency of use and the soil’s percolation rate.
- Steel: The biggest problem with steel is that it will rust over time due to the soil acidity. High-quality steel tanks will be more resistant to this process. Steel septic tanks that are 15 years old or more may be so rusted that the tank bottom is nonexistent. That said, regular maintenance of your tank can avoid rusting.
- Concrete: These tanks can last for several decades if they are properly installed and maintained. A high-quality concrete tank in low-acidity soil has a chance to last for more than 40 years.
One of the most important aspects of extending a septic tank’s lifespan is taking care when the system is first installed. Choosing the right location for the tank with the proper soil conditions will ensure that it doesn’t flood. Lowering the septic tank’s workload by being efficient with water use will also help the system’s overall health.
Septic tank maintenance
Many people associate septic tank maintenance with having the tank pumped. This is one important part of service, but there isn’t a one-size-fits-all recommendation for septic tank pumping. That’s because it varies depending on the size of the tank and how often it is used. A tank being used by a 10-person family will need much more regular service than one that serves a two-person household.
Beyond pumping, you should also invest in regular septic tank inspections where the technician will see if there are any components that need to be replaced. You should also have the scum in the tank removed on a regular basis. Pumping only removes the clear waste from the tank; solid scum is left behind. To avoid septic tank failure, the scum should be removed so that it doesn’t accumulate over time.
Septic tank repair
Septic tank systems can be repaired. The cost of this service varies widely depending on the part that needs to be fixed. Replacing a tank lid is usually relatively inexpensive, but repairs for the drain field or leach field can be very pricy. Whether repairs are worth it depends on the age of the system along with the size of the tank and the location of the broken part.
Do you need septic tank repair? Then call Mike’s Septic & McKinley Sewer Services. We have more than six decades of experience in the business and have built a reputation for delivering friendly, reliable service. We’re a family-owned and -operated business specializing in all things septic. Give us a call right now to learn more and receive a free quote.