timeEvery time we install a new septic system into a person’s home or business, we are always asked the same question: how long do septic systems last?

The short answer is: septic systems tend to last anywhere from 15 to 40 years. It’s a large range, but that is because the average lifespan is entirely dependent upon a lot of factors.

What’s the most important factor in determining the lifespan of a septic system?

How Often it is Serviced

Septic system service is the key determinant in the life of your septic system, and this doesn’t only include septic tank pumping. While you should have your septic tank pumped at least every three years (more frequently if you use a garbage disposal often), there is more to septic service than pumping out the waste.

A good septic services company will not only pump your tank, they will also inspect it to see if any other repairs need to be made. When a tank is pumped, it only clears out the liquid waste, leaving behind scum that builds up over time. This needs to be cleaned out to ensure that the system continues to operate well.

Having your septic system regularly serviced (just like a car, furnace or any other big ticket item you own) is the easiest way to increase its life.

What Type of Tank You Have

Septic tanks can be made from a variety of materials, each with their own average lifespan.

Steel tanks can last anywhere from 20-30 years, and usually deteriorate from weathering. Plastic tanks last a bit longer, with an average lifespan of 30-40 years. The longest lasting option are concrete tanks, which can last 40 years or more.

When having a concrete tank installed, make sure that you hire a company that has worked with them before. People love concrete tanks because they last almost indefinitely, but low quality concrete that is not poured properly will fail in just a few years.

Which Material is Best?

That depends upon the quality of your soil. If there is a lot of acidic groundwater in your soil, it can eat away at a concrete septic tank. The company that you hire will be able to inspect the land around you and make a recommendation on what tank you should have put in.

Just Remember to Have it Serviced!

We can’t stress enough the importance that septic service plays in the life of your septic tank! To have your tank pumped, cleaned and properly inspected, contact AAA Wastewater today.