How Big of a Septic Tank Do I Need?


How Big of a Septic Tank Do I Need?

The most common things to consider before installing a new septic system are the size and type of tank needed. Private sewage disposal is a growing trend within the United States — 33 percent of newly constructed homes are opting for onsite wastewater treatment. Septic tank systems combined with a soil absorption system, or a drain field, is the least expensive method available for treating residential wastewater. The size of the septic tank you will need depends mostly on the size of the house and the number of people who will reside there. Common residential septic tanks range in size from 750 gallons to 1,250 gallons.

Septic Tank Basics

A septic tank is a self-contained unit designed to hold residential wastewater. The system is comprised of two main components: the tank and the drain, or soil absorption field. After entering the tank, solid waste settles on the bottom of the tank creating what is referred to as the sludge layer. Oil, grease and soap residue create the scum layer at the top. The wastewater, or effluent, makes up the middle layer. As the tank fills, the effluent exits the tank and enters the drain field where it is absorbed into the ground.

Types of Septic Tanks

There are three common types of septic tanks used in residential construction.

· Concrete septic tanks

· Polyethylene/plastic septic tanks

· Fiberglass septic tanks

Concrete septic tanks are the most common, but because of their weight require heavy machinery to install. Polyethylene and fiberglass are much lighter, one-piece units. This makes them ideal for remote, hard to reach places. Before purchasing a septic tank system, check with your local building department for codes and regulations regarding onsite wastewater treatment.

Sizing Your Septic Tank

Several variables determine the size of septic system you will need to install. The homes square footage, the number of bedrooms and the number of people who will live there. The bulleted list below represents approximate septic tank sizes based on the number of bedrooms and home square footage.

· 750 gallon septic tank for one and two bedroom homes less than 1,500 square feet

· 1,000 gallon septic tank for three bedroom homes less than 2,500 square feet

· 1,250 gallon septic tank for four bedroom homes less than 3,500 square feet

The values above are an estimate. Local building codes can vary by region. Before purchasing a septic tank system, discuss the different septic tank options available with a professional plumbing contractor licensed in your area. For answers to your septic tank questions and concerns, contact the Pink Plumber today.

Image Source: Flickr