If you are in the market for a septic tank then you are probably researching the pros and cons of a all sorts of septic tanks, including cement septic tanks. Consider this your definitive guide to cement septic tanks.
Contractors will install a cement septic tank when value is a more important consideration than cost. There are also places where cement tanks are required by zoning regulations. The best way to find information about zoning regulations is city hall.
Cement Septic Tank Advantages
- Cement septic tanks are extremely durable and for that reason last a very long time
- Cement septic tanks have a lot of weight, which means that they will not float if submerged in water
- A cement septic tank can hold a lot of effluent and so are recommended for large households
- Cement septic tanks are approved in all states
Cement Septic Tank Disadvantages
- May crack in extreme conditions
- Can be quite expensive to buy and to transport
- Cement septic tanks are more susceptible to leaks and cracks due to ground shift or settling
- Due to their weight, cement septic tanks can be difficult to install
Placement of a cement septic tank is an important consideration. You can buy cement tanks that are rated thick enough to be traversed by cars. Even though, you can drive over the tank, I recommend that you do not. As the years go by, an improperly built cement septic tank may wear down and it may even collapse under the weight of a car.
Cement septic tanks are prone to leaks (as mentioned above). Sometimes the leaks are small and they cannot be detected without digging out the entire tank. You do not want your tank to leak because that means the effluent is being improperly disposed of which is terrible for the environment and it may stink up your neighborhood if the leak is big enough. Not to mention the effluent making its way into the groundwater, which you may be using as your primary water source.
A leaking tank also returns false results when performing a septic loading and dye test. The test will show water levels dropping when the tank is unused. An experienced septic inspector will be able to detect leaks if there is a septic tank inspection port that is accessible during, before and after running the septic loading and dye test.
A cement septic tank that erodes quickly indicates that poor quality cement was used. It will have to be replaced immediately.
If you find that a baffle or outlet are blocked, then further inspection will likely reveal that effluent has been above the baffles. Effluent above the baffle strongly suggests septic tank failure.