Sometimes homeowners are faced with the decision to acquire a property that has municipal water and sewer service, or manage their own system and enjoy the convenience of not having to pay a monthly water or sewer bill. This leads many to wonder what some of the pros and cons of a having a septic system are.
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is a waste treatment system that remains underground that treats and disposes of household waste. The main components of a septic system are the septic tank and the drain field. The septic tank is a unit that contains two pipes, an inlet and an outlet. The tank filters wastewater and holds it until the solids and liquids separate into three layers. Each layer contains material of certain densities such as oil, partially clarified wastewater, and sludge. The sludge naturally breaks down while the other material remains in the tank waiting to be pumped. The clarified wastewater liquid flows into the drain field where it is naturally filtered within the ground.
What Are the Advantages of a Septic System
There are a few advantages of owning a septic system. First, they tend to be a more viable option for neighborhoods and rural settings that have large spaces between houses. Instead of having to waste miles of pipe that would be used to run sewer lines from house to house, many of these types of homes use a septic system, which also is good for the environment.
They are simple designs and are usually relatively cheap to install and maintain. Additionally, septic systems remove the added expense of a water and sewer bill, although the septic tank needs to be pumped out every so often. For minimal maintenance, your costs are usually much lower. Instead of a monthly sewage bill you will need to purchase a yeast-based treatment from your local department store. These usually run around five dollars for a month supply.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Septic System?
There are a few drawbacks of using a septic system. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage is that certain items cannot be flushed into the tank. These items tend to disrupt the biological breakdowns that are happening within the system and can clog pipes or pumps. Such items include hair, dental floss, diaper wipes, napkins, cigarette butts, fat, grease, or paper towels to name a few. These things don’t break down fast enough, which can cause your tank to fill up or clog.
Furthermore, chemicals that can damage the environment should not be flushed, including paints, thinners, and pesticides. If you enjoy using bleach then septic may not be the best choice. The cleaning chemical kills the bacteria that eat waste, leaving your tank vulnerable to filling early or even breaking. Having a septic system also slightly increases the cost of electricity per month due to the pump that is used in the system, and will need to be pumped every few years. Pumping is usually the largest cost associated with maintaining a septic system and can be a few hundred dollars to have done.
Overall, septic systems can be a low cost, useful, and beneficial way to take care of waste in the right setting. Although, they do require maintenance just like any other system and care needs to be exercised so that harmful items are not being introduced into the system. Contact PL Lyons for more information and advice before making your final choice.
Braden Bills says
My wife and I have been designing our new home. The only thing the we need to consider is what to do for a septic system. I didn’t know that septic systems were so easy to install and maintain! I’ll have to see what she thinks. Thanks for sharing!
Jack Mulligan says
I live in an area where the homes are too far apart, and sewer lines have become unreliable due to lack of repair. A septic system seems like a good idea because I can manage it myself, and get help maintaining it on my own time. I don’t really flush any of the things on the list of undesirables, so I feel like it would be a good fit.
Kenneth Johnson says
Thanks for sharing. Maintaining your septic system is very important.
I like how you point out that septic tanks are good for the environment because you don’t have to run pipe underground. I can see why this would be appealing to people who live in isolated areas. My uncle is thinking of moving to Kansas. Depending on if and where he decides to move, he might consider purchasing a septic tank.
Lillian Schaeffer says
This is some great information, and I appreciate your point that septic systems are usually a good option for a more rural setting. My husband and I are going to be building a house, and it’s in a kind of out-of-the-way area. We’ll definitely look into having a septic tank put in instead of trying to run miles of sewer line. Thanks for the great post!
Dennis Sanchez says
I’ve considered having a septic system put onto my property, as it seems like it could work as a good alternative to the traditional sewer lines. You mentioned that they remove the expense of a water and sewer bill. I would love to save every penny I can, and perhaps this is a good way. If I do get one, I’ll also have to find a good service to maintain and pump it every so often. Thanks for the read.
Alex Dean says
My husband and I are considering having a septic tank installed, but we are wanting to know whether or not it is worth having. It’s good to know that when it comes to having one installed that it will actually help remove the added expense of a water and sewer bill. It would be great to save money in this area.
Frank Delaware says
A friend of mine is thinking about buying a house that has a septic system, and we were curious about the advantages that it could give him. I love that they are actually pretty cheap to maintain and install! It would be nice to choose a service that will help with that maintenance in the end.
Rachel Lannister says
I’d heard that septic tanks were really useful and not a bad idea to have one. You wrote that they are very affordable and are generally a very simple design. This would be great, as you could be independent and not have to rely on government sewage. You’d probably also want to have a service you could rely on if it ever needed servicing, as it is sewage and you want to make sure that stays where it is intended to be.
Sherry Gajos says
I really liked what you said about how septic systems are a more viable option for neighborhoods and rural settings with large spaces between homes. My husband and I are moving to a new state and the house we are buying fits that description, so we’re thinking about how we need to learn more about how a septic system benefits our situation. Thank you for the information about how they are better for the environment since there aren’t wasted miles of sewer lines moving from house to distant house.
Taylor Bishop says
I wanted to thank you for helping me learn more about septic systems. It’s good to know that a septic system can be good for neighborhoods that are in rural settings. This also seems helpful if you need that space for the tank.
Kate Hansen says
It was really helpful when you mentioned that they’re cheap and easy to install. Last week my husband was telling me how he wanted to get a septic system installed for our home and I was worried about it being too expensive. I appreciate you helping me learn more about the benefits of having a septic system!
I liked that you said that one thing to consider when you are in need of a septic tank is to hire a professional to change the filter in order to ensure proper functionality. I have been thinking about having a septic tank installed but I have been worried that I would end up experiencing expensive damages. I will be sure to consider hiring routine maintenance in order to avoid major damage and need of repair.
Fred Gibbons says
It’s valuable that you point out that using a septic tank lets you avoid having to pay a sewer bill every month. I would like to save money on my utilities, so I’m thinking about having a septic system installed for the house I just bought. I’m going to look for a good company in the area that does septic system installation.
Conrad O'Connor says
It’s interesting that you mention that having your own septic system allows you to avoid having to pay for a sewer bill. I’d like to keep my utility costs low at the house that I want to buy, so I’m considering having a septic system installed on the property. I’m going to look for a reputable business in the area that offers septic system installation services.
Levi Armstrong says
It’s great that you mentioned that septic systems and relatively easy to install and maintain, plus you no longer have to pay for a sewer bill when you have one installed. My husband and I are having a vacation home constructed in my home town. I’ll share this information with him so we can discuss having a septic tank installed in our new property. Thank you!