septic systemsAre you thinking about septic system pros and cons? As a home or property owner, you probably want the best for your investments. One of the most important parts of owning a home or property is to make sure that the plumbing is up to date, cost-effective and running smoothly. That’s where septic systems come in. While this type of plumbing isn’t for everyone, it could be just what your property needs. In this article we will go over the pros and cons of having a septic tank.

Advantages of septic systems

septic system prosEasier on the environment

Regular sewer lines can sometimes leak raw sewage into the ground, contaminating our ground water. Since a septic system doesn’t flow through a sewer system, there is a significantly less chance of a leak. It also uses a natural filtration system that in turn minimizes your amount of pollution.

septic systems prosEconomical

Having a septic system can save you a lot of money. It is a more cost-effective way of plumbing, instead of installing new pipes and wasting water. Your septic tank will all but eliminate your public water bills, which will reduce your plumbing costs in the long run.

septic systems repairsLower maintenance

Since your typical septic tank will only need pumping every three to five years, you will save on plumbing maintenance bills. Having regular cleaning and inspections between pumps will also help reduce your overall cost for having a septic tank.

septic system prosLong life expectancy

The general lifespan of a septic tank is between 20-40 years. It all depends on the material used for your tank and how well you take care of it. If you keep up with the maintenance, you will have a very happy and functional septic tank.

Easier to fix

Since septic tanks have their own filtration systems, you won’t have to bank on the finicky city sewer systems. If you have a plumbing issue, it is much easier to diagnose and correct on-site with the help of a septic plumbing company.

Disadvantages of septic systems

Everything in life will have a list of pros and cons, so why should septic tanks be any different? Below is a list of disadvantages that come with having a septic tank:

no meds in septic systemsAntibiotics

When you have a sewer system, you don’t have to consider something so small as what medications you take. However, since the ecosystem in a septic tank is perfectly balanced in a delicate way, the smallest traces of antibiotics expelled in the household waste can drastically upset the tanks natural bacteria that helps to break down the solids and sludge.

tree roots damage septic systemsTree roots

Another thing you must consider when it comes to septic tanks, is tree roots. Roots are attracted to the nutrient-rich effluent that is in your septic tank. If the roots can find even the smallest opening, for example a small crack in a concrete tank, they will force their way in so they can start soaking up all the vitamins and minerals that they need. This could lead to backflow into your home, the contents of the septic tank leaking out into the ground, causing a pooling above the tank itself, not to mention the smell.

how septic systems workWater tables

When you have a septic system, your drain field disperses the effluent from the tank and the sun helps to dry out the field and keep it ready for more effluent. If your water table is too high, your drain field can’t absorb the effluent because it is already full of water. This could also lead to backups into your home.

no rubbish in septic systemsDisposal

Since the septic tank is just that, a tank, you must be careful and conscientious of what you put into your system. for example, some common things that can clog up a tank are tampons, sanitary wipes, too much toilet paper, larger amounts of food run through the garbage disposal. Also, certain types of cleaner, like bleach, will kill the bacteria in your septic tank, damaging the inner-ecosystem.

septic system consMound systems

Although not as common, mound septic systems are one of the least desirable systems to have. They are exactly that, a mound, a very visible eyesore on your property. Since a septic system doesn’t have a tank, instead of digging down, you must dig outwards so it has places to disperse the wastewater, which makes space another issue with this system. Another problem with mound systems is that they are far more obvious not only visually, but by sense of smell. If the wastewater from your house does not leach fast enough through your ground, it can work its way up to the surface, leaving you with that delightful sewage scent.


When it comes to your household plumbing, choosing the best option is what we are trained for. Our experts will take all your variables into consideration, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than keeping your family happy. Contact us today, so we can make you happy and confident with your plumbing decisions.

Septic systems are not a “one size fits all” type of system. Though one size tank might work for one household, that doesn’t mean it will work for every household. Talking with a plumbing and septic tank expert is going to be your best way to make sure you’re getting the right size tank. This article will give you the basic information you need to start on your home improvement and plumbing journey.

Things to consider

When it comes to choosing the size of septic tank your home needs there are a few things to consider, such as:

  1. What is the square footage of the house in question?
  2. How many rooms are in the house?
  3. How many people are going to be living in the home?

The most common sizing for septic tanks is between 750 gallons to 1,250-gallon tanks. Before we get into this topic, first we need some background information.

What is a Septic Tank?

Septic tanks are self-contained, underground chambers or units that are designed to hold residential wastewater. Septic systems are made up of two main components: the tank and the drain field. Once the wastewater leaves your house, it will flow into the tank. The solid waste will settle on the bottom of the tank, which creates a “sludge” layer. Other liquids like oil and grease soap residue will float to the top, creating the “scum” layer. The wastewater, also referred to as effluent will make up the middle layer. As the tank fills up, the effluent leaves the tank and enters the drain field where it is then absorbed into the ground.

Are there Different Types of Septic Tanks?

That is a great question! Yes, manufacturers use different types of materials to make your septic tank. It just depends on personal preferences, budget and maneuverability when installing the tank.  Let’s look at the different types of tanks that are most commonly used:septic tank size

Concrete Septic Tanks

These tanks are designed to last for several decades, making them one of the most durable options for your residential plumbing needs. However, since they are the heaviest material, their maintenance and install will likely be more expensive. Another thing to note is that they are susceptible to cracks, which can lead to wastewater leaking into the surrounding ground, possibly contaminating drinking water.

septic tank sizePlastic Septic Tanks

These tanks are more resistant to natural, biological and chemical processes that will take place in your tank. They are also more resistant to cracks. Being plastic, they are lightweight, which makes them rather easy to install. Unfortunately, plastic tanks tend to move around underground if your ground shifts or is flooded. This could mean that your tank could shift or even rise out of the ground.

septic tank sizeFiberglass Septic Tanks

This type of tank is more durable than plastic because they are not likely to bend or shift in the ground. They are lightweight and noncorrosive, inside and out and they are also more economical than concrete septic tanks. They are also not likely to experience structural damage like the plastic or concrete tanks.

septic tank size

Steel Septic Tanks

These tanks are becoming a thing of the past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t come across one. Steel is the least expensive material used for septic tanks, but this also comes at a cost. Designed to last between 20-25 years, they tend to rust before they can reach their full life expectancy.


Now that we have the background information, lets get to the real topic in question.

What Size Septic Tank Do You Need?septic tank size

  • 1-2 bedroom home with less than 1.500 sq. ft. = 750-gallon tank
  • 3 bedroom home with less than 2,500 sq. ft. = 1,000-gallon tank
  • 4 bedroom home with less than 3,500 sq. ft. = 1,250-gallon tank
  • 5 bedroom home with less than 4,500 sq. ft. = 1,250-gallon tank
  • 6 bedroom home with less than 5,500 sq. ft. = 1,315-gallon tank


Keep in mind that the above information is a rough estimate. The exact size of tank you require will depend not only on the above-mentioned variables, but also your local jurisdiction requirements. Your best bet in making sure that you are not only adhering to the local codes, but also getting the “most bang for your buck” is to talk to a professional plumber and septic system installer. If you get the wrong size or have too many people living in a home with a smaller septic tank, it might lead to backups or the need for more frequent pumping and maintenance.

If you’re ready to join the septic tank family, contact us today! We are more than happy to help you on your new residential plumbing adventure.

Home or commercial building owners who use a septic system are often unsure of the best intervals for pumping their septic tank. While general guidelines are available for septic tank pumping, there are several variables that can affect those guidelines.

It is essential to keep your septic tank needs in mind to make sure that your home or commercial building does not experience smelly and inconvenient back-ups.

What is the best septic tank pumping schedule for your system?

According to an article by the nationwide plumbing company Mr. Rooter, the ideal schedule for pumping your septic system depends on several basic factors. Those include:

  • The number of regular household occupants
  • Building square footage
  • Garbage disposal use
  • Tank size
  • Local climate

This article supplies a chart with standard guidelines based on the household size, square footage, and tank size.

There are several variables, however, that may indicate the need for more frequent pumping than the chart indicates. They include:

  • Frequent disposal of coffee grounds and other materials that are not septic-friendly.
  • Higher than average clothes washer use
  • Use of a water softener connected to your septic tank
  • Frequent garbage disposal use
  • Use of a sewage ejector pump connected to the septic system
  • Frequent house guests
  • Operation of a home business

How do you know your septic tank needs pumping?

According to an InspectAPedia article, your septic tank is operating normally if the combined liquid and solid waste is level with the bottom of the tank outlet pipe.

If you or your septic system professional see that the sewage in your tank is above the bottom of your outlet pipe, you may have one of the following problems.

  • The damaged or clogged tank outlet pipe
  • Saturated or failing drain field
  • Distribution box tipping, damage, or blockage

If your septic system professional finds that the problem lies with either blockage in your tank outlet pipe or distribution box problems, you will be relieved to know that repair will not be too costly and that your drain field is still functioning.

How do you diagnose problems indicated by a low level of sewage after a check inside your septic tank?

In some cases, a low sewage level in your tank may be normal. This happens when your septic tank has not been in use for a few months. Explanations for this situation include the release of moisture because of evaporation or vapor passage through tank cover leaks.

On the other hand, you may have other septic tank problems if observation reveals that sewage levels are below the bottom of the outlet pipe when the system is active.

Some problems indicated by low sewage levels may be:

Cracks or other damage if your tank is concrete. Evaluating the problem will require pumping and cleaning your tank to inspect for damage.

If you have a fiberglass or plastic tank, check to see if your drain plug is in place. Pumping your tank can result in accidental loss of the drain plug. This problem may not even be noticeable until the next tank pumping time.

Steel septic tank problems may be the result of rust holes, and the potential exists for steel tank bottoms to completely rust away.

If your septic tank was homemade or built on-site using stone or concrete blocks, the tank could collapse completely or develop leaks. In fact, the likelihood of leaks is high.

Seek professional advice


Unless you’re a septic system professional, the do-it-yourself approach to septic tank pumping is not advisable. Call J & J Septic at (865) 622-4428 or contact us through our website to get expert advice for pumping your septic tank.