Septic tanks are used to partially process human wastewater. Nearly half of all North Americans rely on septic tanks to process their effluent because they do not have the option of using a centralized sewer system like you would find in a city. There are many different types of septic tanks, including fiberglass septic tanks.
Fiberglass septic tanks are watertight containers that are buried underground on your property. In the septic tank, bacteria and gravity act together to separate the scum from the liquid water. It is the scum that is pumped out during periodic septic tank pumping. The water flows through the septic tank and into the leach field where it is purified before returning to the ground water.
Decades ago, septic tanks were built of steel or redwood, but because of environmental concerns new materials were used to building septic tanks. Today, you can buy plastic (polyethylene) septic tanks, cement septic tanks and fiberglass septic tanks.
Fiberglass Septic Tank Advantages
- Fiberglass septic tanks are lightweight so they are easily transported around your property to the ideal spot for installation
- Since they are lightweight, delivery costs to your house should be less than cement septic tanks
- A fiberglass septic tank with a thick layer of resin is more durable than most cement septic tanks because the resin is more resistant than concrete to the gasses produced in a septic tank
Fiberglass Septic Tank Disadvantages
- Fiberglass septic tanks can be damaged beyond repair if they are dropped during installation or improperly installed
- Fiberglass septic tanks are so light that they may ‘float’ on the surface of the ground if they are incorrectly installed
- Not all states allow the installation of fiberglass septic tanks
Before you begin research on septic tank type, make sure that you check with local authorities regarding which septic tanks are allowed and which are not. The regulations may also stipulate a specific size for your septic tank. Generally, a 3-4 bedroom home would need a 1,500-gallon fiberglass septic tank and a 2 bedroom home would need a 1,000-gallon tank.
When you are researching fiberglass septic tanks make sure that you find out what the warranty is on each type of septic tank. The warranties may also vary for each manufacturer. If you find a fiberglass septic tank with a 50-year warranty for structural strength, then you can assume that the workmanship is of the highest quality.