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What Should I Know Before Buying a House With a Septic Tank?


So you’re considering a house with a septic tank system. If you’ve never owned a home with a septic tank before, you may be a little intimidated by what it might require. Septic systems are quite different from sewer lines and do require a different kind of upkeep. However, that shouldn’t keep you from buying your dream house. It’s estimated that over 21 million American households rely on septic systems rather than public sewers to trap and filter their toilet waste. For that reason, there are plenty of providers of septic tank services available.

But of course, it’s important that you do your due diligence and research a little about septic tanks before you commit to buying a home with one. That’s why we’re answering some of your pressing questions about septic tanks and septic tank services below. The more you know, the more confident you can feel about moving forward with the purchase of your home.

Are There Different Kinds Of Septic Tanks?

When you think about septic tanks, you may have one kind of septic tank in mind. But you should be aware that there are different kinds of septic tanks on the market. Therefore, you need to know what you’re committing to before you buy a house.

One of the most common types of septic tanks is the concrete septic tank. The main benefit of this kind of septic tank is that it is very durable and can potentially last for decades. However, they do need to be inspected regularly, due to the fact that concrete can crack. This would result in wastewater leaking into the ground and the blockages that occur due to backups could affect the outflow of your drains.

Another type of septic tank is the steel septic tank. These septic tanks are more prone to rust, which means that they usually need to be replaced after 25 years. Rusting and corrosion could cause the septic tank to struggle with above-ground weight, which would create a potential weakness in the surrounding land. As such, steel septic tanks generally aren’t as popular among homeowners as concrete septic tanks, which with the proper maintenance are often more reliable.

Fiberglass septic tanks are both rust-proof and crack-proof, which is why they have more recently gained popularity. If their plugs become dislodged, however, they may suffer from low effluent levels. Furthermore, if you live in a particularly wet area they may be less than ideal as they can be prone to shifting if the soil above them is damp.

Aerobic septic tanks are usually only installed when prior septic tanks have failed. Though they’re very expensive to install, they’re often more efficient and reliable than any other type of septic tank. They do require more frequent maintenance from providers of septic tank services, but they can last for quite a long time.

Is A Septic Tank More Expensive Than A Public Sewer?

In actuality, a septic tank can actually help you save money. If you’re moving into a home that already has a septic tank, you don’t need to worry about installation costs until that septic tank needs to be replaced. When they do need to be installed, septic tanks often cost significantly less than installing new sewer lines.

Additionally, septic tanks don’t come with the monthly costs associated with sewer lines. They run independently, which means that you won’t be responsible for all of those monthly fees.

Are Septic Tanks Bad For The Environment?

As a matter of fact, septic tanks may actually be better for the environment than sewer lines, which are more prone to leaking and affecting the surrounding areas. Septic tanks can cause less pollution if properly maintained, as they use drainfields and leachfields as natural filters. They also recycle water, pushing forward the idea that the water will return to the ground and stimulate plant growth.

Though you do need to engage with reliable providers of septic tank services when keeping your own septic tank, there are clearly a lot of benefits to owning this kind of system. You may not be familiar with septic tanks, but you shouldn’t let your concern about the unknown keep you from investing in a house that you appreciate.