How to Choose the Right Septic Tank Size for Your Property

June 8, 2021 11:41 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Whether you’re installing a brand-new septic system or replacing your old tank, it’s important to get the right size tank for your specific property in Strafford County, NH. The correct septic tank size usually depends on the size of your household as well as how big your home is. Here’s an overview of how to choose the right size with help from your septic contractor.

How septic tanks work

Before you get started, it’s worth understanding how septic tanks work. When you send water down the drain—whether by running the sink and shower, doing the dishes or flushing the toilet—the wastewater travels through your plumbing and ends up in your septic tank. Any solid waste sinks to the bottom, while grease, fat and oil rise to the top. The wastewater (also known as effluent) drains out through a series of perforated pipes. It ends up in the drain field, where helpful bacteria in the soil treat the water and send it into the groundwater supply.

The solids, fats and oils stay in the tank, however. Some organic matter may be “digested” by helpful bacteria, but for the most part, the solid waste sticks around until it’s time to pump your septic tank. (This usually needs to happen every three to five years.) That’s why it’s important to get a large enough tank for your family—if the septic tank fills up, no one will be able to use the indoor plumbing until it’s pumped.

Choosing the right size

Septic tanks are typically made from either concrete, fiberglass or plastic and come in varying sizes. When you’re deciding which size to choose, there are three main things to consider: your property’s square footage, how many bedrooms and bathrooms you have and how many people live in the home. For an average four-person household, you should get a tank that can hold at least 700 gallons of waste. Add about 50 gallons per additional user.

When choosing a septic tank, you should also consider what kind of appliances you use, and your water usage rate. For example, waterfall showers, multiple dishwashers and low-flow appliances can all affect how much water will be sent through your septic system at any given time.

What happens if your septic tank is too big?

You already know what can happen if your septic tank is too small, but choosing one that’s too big is also a problem. When a septic tank is too large for its average load, there often won’t be enough wastewater flowing through it to work effectively. It may also be difficult for the helpful bacteria to establish colonies in the tank and break down the solid waste.

If you’re having trouble determining how large your septic tank should be, don’t worry—the team at B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC will be happy to help you make a smart decision. We’re familiar with septic tank and household sizes in Strafford County, NH. Give us a call today to get started on the process.

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