The Key Differences Between Residential and Commercial Septic Services

October 8, 2021 10:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Septic systems can handle waste and wastewater when your home or business is too far away from municipal sewer lines. What’s the difference between a residential and commercial septic system? As long as they’re appropriately maintained, any septic system should operate flawlessly for decades—that said, how you go about it will depend on whether you have a commercial or residential septic system. Besides the obvious fact that one is for the home and one is installed for business locations, there are a few key factors that set them apart.

If you already own one type of septic system, you might be surprised by how residential and commercial septic systems differ. They can require different locations, may treat the water differently and have very different maintenance needs.

How septic systems work

Whenever you send waste and fluids down the drain, it has to be treated. When you’re connected to municipal sewer lines, wastewater travels through a series of pipes to the main sewer system. Eventually, the water reaches a municipal wastewater treatment plant. Your responsibility ends at paying the bills and maintaining the plumbing on your property.

When you own a septic system, however, the wastewater is collected in a tank buried underground. The tank separates solids from liquids (i.e., effluent). The effluent is pushed out into the drain field, where it’s treated before it reenters the groundwater system. Meanwhile, helpful bacteria in the tank help break down solid waste. When the tank gets full of solids, it has to be pumped.

How to differentiate between a residential and a commercial septic system

There are three broad areas in which commercial and residential septic systems differ:

  • Size: Naturally, a commercial septic tank has to be a lot larger than a residential septic tank. Wastewater treatment for three to six people is a lot lower than a commercial business, which may see hundreds of customers per day; therefore, the tank size and drain fields are usually a lot larger than what you’d see on residential property. Some commercial tanks are installed above ground or vertically into the earth.
  • Treatment type: Since commercial buildings see a lot more wastewater than residential homes, commercial septic systems may require additional treatment methods. Pre-treating the effluent ensures that the tank can efficiently treat wastewater and break down solids as needed.
  • Maintenance needs: Finally, a commercial septic system will need more frequent maintenance than a residential one. Most septic experts suggest residential tanks be pumped every three to five years. Since commercial buildings see more traffic, you may need to pump the tank more frequently. It’s also smart to have your septic contractor check the tank regularly to ensure that the septic bacteria is doing its job properly. If not, you may need additional treatments or maintenance.

Now that you know the difference between commercial and residential septic systems, you know that keeping up with maintenance and pumping is the key to an efficient system. B.H. Cameron Septic Services LLC is happy to help with all of your septic needs. Call us today to get started.

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