The Pros and Cons of Various Septic Tank Materials

When deciding in a septic tank for your property, no matter the type of system, you'll need to decide on the material of the tank itself. Usually this would mean concrete, steel, or some type of plastic or fiberglass. Each of these may have their own advantages but they also have some disadvantages as well. Since your septic system is an investment that will need to last for years, note a few of those pros and cons of each so you make the right decision for your property.

1. Concrete

One of the greatest advantages of using concrete for any type of tank, pool, or other such feature on your property is that it can be shaped and poured to your specifications, and you are not limited to precut designs sold at a supply store. You can have your concrete septic tank as large or as small as needed for your property and your particular septic needs, and it can even be shaped into any type of design; a tank can be made into an L-shape that works around buried lines or fits a smaller property, if this is what your property needs.

The disadvantage of concrete is that the material is very porous so it needs to be lined, and this lining will need to be changed and replaced over time. Without a good lining, the tank can leak or sewage can seep out through cracks.

2. Steel

Steel tanks are lightweight and easy to manage but they are susceptible to rust. Very often they too need a liner so that the moisture inside the septic tank won't cause early corrosion. This corrosion can also happen around connectors that hold sides of the tank together, so you may need to invest in a tank made of one sheet of steel that is welded at a seam for maximum durability. This may be more expensive but it can be worth the cost for the durability and longevity.

3. Fiberglass and plastic

Fiberglass and plastic are usually the lightest weight of all the materials so they're very easy to install and move as needed. However, this light weight can make them more susceptible to structural damage due to the weight of surrounding soil and moisture. However, the inside of the tank is typically very strong; plastic is molded into one piece so there are usually no connectors or seams that get corroded. The material itself is also not susceptible to seepage or corrosion, so it may last the longest of any tank material.

For more information about septic tanks, especially alternative systems, contact a company like Biosystems 2000.