The Difference Between a Septic System and a Sewer System in Strafford County, NH

October 15, 2019 4:22 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Most of the time, whether your home relies on a municipal sewer system or a private septic system will depend primarily on your location. In more urban areas, septic systems aren’t nearly as common, because population density makes it more manageable for the city’s public works department to run an efficient sewer system.

However, once you get outside urban areas, septic tanks will be the primary wastewater handling system, because it’s not as likely that sewer systems will stretch out to rural areas with sparse populations.

In the rare circumstance in which you have a choice between the two, you need to consider the various pros and cons of each type of system. Here’s a quick overview of some of the features of sewer systems and septic systems in Strafford County, NH.

Sewer systems

Sewer systems are the responsibility of the city or municipality to maintain, which means one more task you don’t have to worry about as a homeowner. You’ll pay a monthly fee to the city that goes toward supporting the sewage systems, so there is that to consider, but many homeowners are fine making that tradeoff so they don’t have to worry about handling maintenance themselves.

In a sewer system, the water gets carried from your home’s drain systems out to the main municipal lines and then to a treatment facility. At that treatment facility, solids and contaminants get separated from the water, and the water goes through a rigorous cleaning process before it gets released back into the municipality’s water supply for public consumption.

Again, the homeowner has no responsibility for this system at all. You do have to rely on the quality of the municipality’s drainage and treatment systems, of course, but in the vast majority of communities around the country, this isn’t something you need to worry about.

Septic systems

With septic systems, the big drawback is that you do have to take charge of maintenance, calling out a septic tank specialist every few years or so to pump the system and also perform any other necessary maintenance on mechanical components of the system.

In a septic system, the waste goes into a holding tank, where bacteria break down the solids. The resulting liquid, the effluent, flows out into a drain field, where the soil serves as a natural filter for any contaminants that remain in the system.

The tank does need to be pumped out periodically, because having too much solid material inside the system will result in the possibility of a system overflow, either in the tank or in the drain field. There also is a potential for blockages and backups. This is why it’s so important to have a working relationship with a septic service provider.

This is just a brief overview of the main differences between sewer and septic systems and homeowner responsibility for each. For more information about making the choice between a septic or sewer system in Strafford County, NH, contact the team at B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC today.

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