4 Main Types of Septic Tank Materials:
First off, it's important to note that in Minnesota, the regulations for septic tanks are found here, and there's quite a bit that a septic tank contractor would need to take into consideration.
What are the major types of septic tanks?
Septic tanks can be constructed from a variety of materials, but they must meet certain standards to ensure proper function and safety. The materials typically used for septic tank construction include:
SEPTIC TYPE #1 - CONCRETE SEPTIC TANKS
Concrete is one of the most common materials used for septic tank construction. It is durable, long-lasting, and can withstand the weight of the soil above it. It starts out with pouring concrete into a mold in the shape of a tank, and then the concrete is reinforced with steel bars or wire mesh to build resilience against cracking. Concrete septic tanks are known for their longevity and their durability.
Installation of a concrete septic tank can be difficult and require special equipment for them to install. Concrete septic tanks are one of the most reliable and long-lasting septic systems that a family can use.
SEPTIC TYPE #2 - FIBERGLASS SEPTIC TANKS
Fiberglass septic tanks are lightweight and can be easily transported and installed. These septic tanks are made by laying fiberglass and resin over a mold to create the tank shape. They are also resistant to corrosion and rust, meaning they last decades before needing replacement.
Fiberglass tanks are lightweight and are easy to transport unlike concrete septic tanks installation, there is no need to excavate a large area to install them. Fiberglass septic tanks are a reliable and durable option for households that need a septic system.
SEPTIC TYPE #3 - POLYETHYLENE SEPTIC TANKS
Polyethylene septic tanks are lightweight, strong, and resistant to corrosion. These tanks are easy to install and can be installed quickly with little disruption to the area surrounding them. Polyethylene tanks are the most cost effective septic tank compared to your other typical tanks your family might use such as concrete or fiberglass.
Unlike other septic tanks, these types of tanks are not suitable for high temperatures as they can warp under high heat. Polyethylene tanks are smaller and may not be suitable for large households or commercial buildings. Due to ground movement, polyethylene septic tanks can be prone to cracking or splitting over time.
SEPTIC TYPE #4 - STEEL SEPTIC TANKS
Steel septic tanks are durable and can withstand heavy loads. Steel septic tanks have become less common over the years due to several drawbacks. Steel tanks can be made in large sizes, pushing them a good option for commercial or industrial applications.
Steel tanks require frequent maintenance to prevent corrosion with regular cleaning and coating to protect them. These tanks are not recommended for family homes.
HOW TO CHOOSE?
The specific material used for septic tank construction will depend on various factors such as the size of the tank, the soil conditions, the groundwater table, and local regulations, whether this is for your family or for your business, and such.
It is important to consult with a licensed septic system professional to determine the most appropriate material for your septic tank construction.
What are the main differences between the two most popular tanks of concrete and plastic?
5 MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CONCRETE SEPTIC TANKS & PLASTIC SEPTIC TANKS?
Are you looking for a septic tank solution?
It can be hard to decide between concrete and plastic options. In this section, we’ll look at the 5 main differences between concrete septic tanks and plastic septic tanks - from installation and cost considerations to their material makeup and life expectancy.
DIFFERENCE #1 - DURABILITY OF CONCRETE SEPTIC VS. PLASTIC SEPTIC
Concrete septic tanks are strong and durable, being able to withstand heavy loads. They are resistant to damage from the environment such as ground movement. However they are prone to cracking due to those environment factors and can lead to leaks contaminating the ground. Plastic tanks are resistent to corrosion and are low maintenance with a 20-25 year lifespan.
DIFFERENCE #2 - INSTALLATION PROCESS & SCOPE OF PROJECT
Concrete septic tanks are typically heavier and more difficult to transport and install than plastic septic tanks. This can make them more challenging to install in tight or hard-to-reach locations. Plastic tanks are generally lighter and easier to transport, making them a good option for sites with limited access.
DIFFERENCE #3 - MAINTENANCE OVER TIME
Concrete septic tanks require regular maintenance, including pumping and inspection. Ensure proper function and prevent issues such as cracking or damage to the tank. Plastic tanks may require less maintenance, but can be more susceptible to damage from roots or other factors. Follow the Environmental Protection Agencies guide on how to care for your septic system, this guide goes into great detail for sewer repair.
DIFFERENCE #4 - PRICING & COST OF INSTALLATION
Concrete septic tanks are generally more expensive than plastic septic tanks due to their durability and long lifespan. Plastic tanks are typically less expensive, but may need to be replaced more frequently. It ultimately comes down to how much it costs near your area to get either a sewer repair or installation, the costs of excavation, permits, and landscaping can determine how much it costs overall.
DIFFERENCE #5 - ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS & ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS
Plastic tanks may be considered more environmentally friendly, as they are typically made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Concrete septic tanks can have a higher environmental impact due to their production process and the use of heavy equipment in installation. If either of the concrete septic tank or plastic septic tank leaks, it will affect the environment from leaking sewage into the ground.
All these septic tank tips have their own advantages and disadvantages. Trying to select between concrete and plastic septic tanks is not easy task. Concrete tanks are made with longevity in mind yet installation might take longer, whereas plastic tanks require less setup time but maintenance occurs more frequently. Now that you’ve looked at your options as well as costs involved, you'll be ready to choose the right choice for your project.