Septic Systems

How Long Will Your System Last? Life Expectancy Of Septic Systems

Septic SystemVery few people give any thought to their septic tank or a sewage system in general, until something goes wrong. This can be a big mistake. Knowing how to maintain a septic system will help to keep it running normally with the least amount of problems possible. The more you know, the better your experience will be.

When you are looking to set up a new septic system, you will need to know about what kind of components will be involved:  a septic tank, piping, a leach field, and a soil drainage field are some of these components. Soil acidity also plays a major role in how long some of these components may last. The higher the acidity level, the more likely problems may occur.

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Life Expectancy of a Septic System

The average life expectancy of a septic system depends upon its components, and what some of those components are made from.

Steel septic tanks can last, on average and with proper maintenance, about fifteen to twenty years. After this time they tend to rust and will need to be replaced.

Concrete septic tanks last much longer—about forty years. If the soil has a good pH balance, some concrete septic tanks have the potential to last forever.

Drain fields and leach fields can last for several decades as well, but again, this is all dependent upon proper maintenance and pumping.  Most drainage fields can last up to or even beyond 50 years.

Maintenance Schedule

The best way to make sure a septic system lasts and doesn’t sustain damage or need replacement is through regularly scheduled maintenance.

Listed below are some guidelines, but these may also depend upon factors such as soil percolation and soil acidity.

Pumping – This depends upon the size of the septic tank and the occupants within the household, but on average, a 500-750-gallon tank will need pumped every two to five years, and the larger the tank, the less often this will be necessary.

Inspection – This may depend on the kind of property – is the tank located on a rental property, or on the homeowner’s property?  Every two to three years is suggested, but if the homeowner suspects a possible failure or if they are experiencing problems, we suggest immediate inspection.

Septic Tank Cleaning or draining – This depends upon how many occupants are using the septic system and it is also dependent upon scum and sludge measurements.  Always contact a licensed plumber or septic systems expert to complete these steps!

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