Where your waste goes after it gets flushed down the toilet isn’t something that many of us think about very often, nor should it be. Thanks to technological advances in the last century, plumbing and public sanitation has become much more convenient, hygienic and precise. The vast majority of those of us who live in metropolitan areas have our home sewer lines tapped into the city sewer mains, which means that our waste travels to a public treatment plant to be processed. For homes and businesses that cannot tap into public sewer lines, however, using a septic tank is an option that provides similar results in a different manner.
They are large holding tanks for sewage, almost always located below ground. They are usually constructed of plastic, and are often able to contain many weeks worth of waste. A septic tank can generally allow for the permanent disposal of waste in one of three ways: by being pumped out on a regular basis, by having bacteria or chemicals applied that eats away the waste naturally, or be allowing the waste to be dispersed naturally into the ground through a leech field. In all of these cases, septic tanks usually require less maintenance than you would think after the initial installation is complete.
A tank is generally called for in a couple of different scenarios. The first and most common is in more rural areas that do not have public city sewer systems available to tap into. The tax dollars that we pay as residents of a city go partially toward providing sanitary services, one of which is maintaining a public sewage treatment plant and sewer system. If, however, your home or business is located too far away from existing city sewer lines, it becomes necessary to dispose of your own waste by installing a septic tank system. Generally, permanent tanks are relatively affordable, can be installed in a few days, and are reliable.
Another scenario where septic tanks might be necessary is on temporary, extensive construction projects that will require many laborers over a longer period of time. In this case, portable toilets might be too temporary and inadequate, but actually building a sewer main to attach to the city sewers might be too expensive and time consuming. In this case, a small tank system is a more intelligent solution that can be used temporarily and then removed when the construction project is complete.
If you think that you might need to have a tank system installed at a home, business or constructions site, make sure that you research local contractors to see who offers the best prices and service. Thanks to modern technology, you shouldn’t notice any discernible difference between being attached to a public sewer system and using a septic tank.