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If you’re a homeowner, there is a chance you have or will have a septic system at some point in your life. About one-in-five homes rely on septic tanks for their wastewater system, so they’re pretty common, especially in suburban areas.
Septic tanks come with many positives and definitely some negatives, but if you know how to best maintain your system without abusing it, the pros will most definitely outweigh the cons.
Septic Tank pros
Durability - Septic tanks can either be made of steel or of concrete, two very durable materials. These tanks rarely have to be fully replaced as long as they’re properly maintained and not abused. They can last anywhere from 20 to 40 years before needing replacement.
Lower Cost - Septic tanks are generally cheaper to install and cheaper to repair than other wastewater systems that require more tools and materials to assemble and install.
Less Pollution - Water pollution is common with wastewater systems like sewer lines. These systems will often leak sewage into the groundwater leading to contamination. When you have a septic tank, however, all bacteria and solid waste is separated from water, so it’s rare for a septic owner to be contributing to pollution.
Septic Tank Cons
Requires Maintenance - Your septic tank requires periodic maintenance and care. This might seem annoying at first, but it really doesn’t take too much effort to not shove random objects down the drain and to have your tank pumped every five years or so.
Clogs - Since your septic tank is just a tank of waste, it can eventually become too full and result in a clog if too much matter is being flushed regularly. You should only be flushing toilet paper and your excrement when needed. Hair, food, grease, foreign objects, and other kinds of paper (like paper towels) should never be flushed, lest your septic system overflows onto your lawn.
If you do find yourself with a septic tank clog, don’t rush to pumping your tank out just yet. Using a septic maintenance product that contains digestive enzymes should do the trick on simpler clogs. A product like Septic Blast will digest organic matter that’s clogging up your tank without disrupting the natural balance. For regular maintenance of your tank, try a product like Septic Saver, which contains a six-month supply of a specialized septic tank maintenance formula that will make having a septic tank a piece of cake.
Just be sure to avoid caustic chemicals like bleach or lye, which can do more harm than good on the materials that make up your septic system.