Septic tanks generally last a long time, but they don't last forever, especially if you have a steel tank that develops rust. If your home is several decades old, it's possible you'll need to put in a new tank at some point. Since drainage fields often fail before the tanks do, you may need an entirely new septic system just to make sure everything works as it should. Here are some things to know about having a new septic tank installed.
Determine The Location For Your New Tank And Field
The first step is to decide if you only need a new tank installed or if you also need a new drainage field. A contractor can help you determine this by running tests on the field. If you only need a new tank, you might be able to have it placed in the hole where the old one was located after the old one is removed. If you are also installing a new field, you'll need an entirely new location for your septic system. In that case, the old tank needs to be closed off and filled so it doesn't become a safety hazard.
The location of a septic tank and field is regulated by local codes. Even so, you should still have a lot of leeway in determining where you want to place the tank. You probably want it fairly close to your house in an obvious location so the tank can be found once it is covered by grass. Just be sure to make a map of the location of the tank and have the contractor install a marking riser on it to avoid problems with finding it in the coming years.
Select The Tank Material
Septic tanks are rarely made of metal now because of the problems they had with rusting and leaking. You'll get to choose a plastic tank, one made of fiberglass, or a traditional concrete tank. The plastic and fiberglass models are becoming popular because they are so easy to install. The are delivered already assembled and just dropped into the ground. These tanks are watertight and durable. The only drawback is they are so lightweight, they can move around underground if they aren't anchored into place securely. Concrete tanks have withstood the test of time and are the most common. A concrete tank may even be mandatory in your local area due to a high water table. These tanks last a long time, but concrete is susceptible to cracking, so leaks are always a possibility.
Create The Septic System
To install the tank, a contractor attaches one end to the sewer line from your house and the other end to a drainage pipe in the drain field. When complete and watertight, wastewater from your home will flow through the tank and then drain into the field where it will soak into the soil and be filtered by the time it reaches the groundwater. Your system will work more efficiently and give you fewer problems if you take care of it well. Avoid pushing a lot of food scraps and grease through your garbage disposal and kitchen sink. Also, it's a good idea to choose toilet paper that dissolves quickly rather than clogging up.
Most importantly, you want to have the tank cleaned and pumped out on a regular schedule to avoid problems with the tank and field that can be expensive to repair. Your contractor can give you an estimate of how often to pump the tank factoring in the size of the tank and number of people in your household.
For more information, contact a company like Southern Sanitary Systems Inc.