There is much debate raging on the more appropriate or better system between a septic tank and sewer. On a side of the divide are those who believe a municipal sewer systems are more efficient, while those on the other side of the divide are of the opinion that septic tanks are better for homeowners. If you are someone thinking of having a septic tank for your home, the arguments swinging back and forth could prove rather confusing. This piece aims to make your task easier by considering the pros and cons of the two systems for managing wastewater.
Understanding How Septic Tanks and Sewers Work
A septic tank is an underground tank made of either steel or concrete. Wastewater from the home flows into the tank from one end and passes out through the other. Heavy materials sink to the base of the tank while light particles rise to the surface. The water in-between these two contains chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus as well as bacteria. This water in the tank is drained into the drain field as more water comes in from sewer pipes in the home. In the drain field, water is absorbed into the ground. Its a common misconception that blocked drains come from septic tank problems, but this is not true!
In the case of municipal sewer systems, however, all you need to do is to just hook your home up to the main sewer line leading to the central treatment facility. This description makes sewers sound quite better and easier to manage than having a septic tank in your home. Things are not as straightforward as you may want to assume them. A look at the pros and cons of septic tanks and sewers will be helpful to really see which of these two is actually better.
Comparison of Septic Tanks and Sewers
Let us examine some pertinent factors that are essential for consideration when looking to determine the more efficient choice between a septic tank and municipal sewer system.
Location – The area where you have your home have a role to play in determining what will work for you. For someone whose home is located in the midst of a busy urban area, connecting to a municipal sewer system may appear the best option. But this does not mean septic tanks cannot be seen in any urban area. The story is completely different when your home is located in a secluded area or rural community. A septic tank becomes the better and, often, the only feasible option in this case.
Environment – One of the reasons why many cities have sewer systems is because of the concern of the environment becoming contaminated by wastewater from septic tanks. This could make sewers appear to be more environment-friendly. This is not necessarily so. You may be shocked to learn that some facilities do not really do a good job of handling wastewater and so do not completely guard against incidence of contamination. A heavy downpour can make sewers become flooded and breakdowns are not completely impossible. The misconception arising about septic tanks when the environment is concerned arises from old ones that were poorly designed. But significant improvement has been witnessed in septic tank technology and design over the last few decades to douse concerns bordering on the safety of the environment.
Costs – Septic tanks are more cost-efficient in the long run, even though many people seem to miss this point because it is a private facility. The main maintenance costs involved are those for inspections and tank pumping. But in the case of a municipal sewer system, you will be made to share in the cost of maintaining the sewer line and will be responsible for water line into your home. There are still regular water and sewage bills to pay. Municipal sewer system bills keep soaring and associated water bills is higher than is the case when using septic tanks.
You should be able to decide in the light of the foregoing the better choice for managing wastewater generated in your home. Septic tanks, obviously, appear to make for a more efficient choice. The most important thing is to ensure the environment is taken into consideration.
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