Pros and Cons of a Septic Tank System

Septic tank systems are an alternative to traditional sewer systems and are commonly used in rural areas or areas where municipal sewer systems are not available. A septic tank system is an underground wastewater treatment system that is responsible for treating and disposing of the wastewater from a household or building. It consists of a tank that collects wastewater and allows it to separate into layers of solids, liquids, and scum. While septic tank systems have their advantages, they also have their drawbacks. In this blog post, we will explore the pros and cons of a septic tank system to help you make an informed decision about whether it’s the right choice for your home or property.

The Pros and the Cons: A Comprehensive Look at Septic Tank Systems

Septic tank systems have been around for centuries, and there are good reasons why they are still in use today. They offer a number of benefits that other types of waste management systems cannot match. However, they also come with a few drawbacks.

How Septic Tank Systems Work

Septic systems are built to contain wastewater from sinks, showers, and other plumbing fixtures in a tank. The tank is usually buried underground and made of concrete or plastic. Wastewater then flows into the tank where it separates into three layers: solids at the bottom, scum on top, and liquid in between. Bacteria that live naturally inside the septic system break down these materials for easy disposal.

Pros of Septic Tank Systems

One of the biggest benefits of using a septic system is its low cost compared to connecting to public sewers. It requires little maintenance as long as it is properly installed and managed. The system also helps keep water clean and free of contaminants, since a septic tank prevents wastewater from entering the environment directly. It’s environmentally friendly as it filters out pollutants before they can reach rivers or streams, protecting aquatic life. Furthermore, unlike public sewer systems, you don’t have to pay monthly bills for your septic system because it is yours to manage on your own property. 

So, If you’re in the market for a waste management system for your home, a septic tank system might just be the perfect fit for you! Here are some of the top benefits of a septic tank system that make it an attractive option for homeowners:

  • Low Cost and Maintenance: Unlike a city’s sewage infrastructure, a septic tank system doesn’t require a monthly bill or maintenance fees. With regular pumping and minimal upkeep, a septic tank can last for decades without needing major repairs.
  • Self-Sufficient: A septic tank system allows you to be completely self-sufficient when it comes to waste management. You won’t have to rely on a city’s sewage infrastructure and can avoid the inconvenience of sewage backups during power outages or storms.
  • Eco-Friendly: A septic tank system is an environmentally friendly solution that doesn’t rely on energy-consuming treatment plants or chemicals. The system uses natural bacteria to break down waste and returns clean water to the soil, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious homeowners.
  • Safe and Healthy: Unlike a city’s sewage infrastructure, a septic tank system doesn’t require pumping of potentially harmful chemicals or hazardous waste. This makes it a safer and healthier option for you, your family, and the environment.

Overall, a septic tank system is a great choice for homeowners looking for a cost-effective, self-sufficient, and eco-friendly solution for their waste management needs.

Cons of Septic Tank Systems

A septic tank system requires more maintenance than connecting to public sewers. You must regularly check and maintain the tank, pump it out every few years, and have any repairs done as soon as possible. Also, if not properly maintained, there is a risk that sewage could leak into the surrounding soil or water supply. While a septic tank system may seem like the perfect waste management solution, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision. Here are some of the cons of a septic tank system that you should keep in mind:

  • High Upfront Cost: Installing a septic tank system can be expensive, especially if you’re building a new home. The cost can vary depending on the size of the tank and the type of soil on your property, so be sure to factor in these expenses before making a decision.
  • Requires Land: A septic tank system requires a significant amount of land for installation and proper functioning. If you have a small lot or live in an urban area, a septic tank system may not be a feasible option.
  • Limited Lifespan: While a septic tank system can last for decades with proper maintenance, it will eventually need to be replaced. This can be a costly and disruptive process, especially if you’re not prepared for it.
  • Health Risks: A septic tank system can pose health risks if not properly maintained. The buildup of harmful bacteria can contaminate groundwater, which can be dangerous for both human and animal consumption. It’s important to have your system inspected regularly to ensure that it’s functioning properly.

Maintenance of Septic Tank Systems

On the downside, septic systems require regular maintenance to ensure they are working properly. If not taken care of correctly, it can lead to costly repairs and even health risks due to contamination. Septic tanks also need to be inspected every few years or so in order for them to function optimally and safely. Additionally, some areas may have restrictions on when a septic system can be installed because of their location near bodies of water or other environmental concerns. It is important to check with local regulations before installing a septic system.

Comparison of Septic Tank System with Public Sewer System

Septic tank systems and public sewer systems are both designed to handle wastewater, but they work in different ways and have different advantages and disadvantages. Here is a comparison of the two systems:

Installation and Maintenance

Septic tanks are installed on the property of individual homes and buildings, while public sewer systems are installed and maintained by the local government. Septic tanks need to be pumped and cleaned regularly to prevent blockages and ensure proper functioning. Public sewer systems are typically maintained by professionals and require less maintenance for homeowners.


The cost of installing a septic tank system is typically lower than connecting to a public sewer system, but the cost of maintenance and repairs falls on the homeowner. On the other hand, the cost of a public sewer system is spread out among all users, but the monthly or annual fees can be more expensive than maintaining a septic tank system.

Environmental Impact

Septic tank systems rely on natural bacterial processes to treat and filter wastewater, which can potentially cause groundwater contamination if not maintained properly. Public sewer systems have more sophisticated treatment methods and are better equipped to handle large volumes of wastewater, but they can also release pollutants into the environment if not properly maintained.


Septic tank systems have a limited capacity and can only handle a certain amount of wastewater. Public sewer systems can handle much larger volumes of wastewater and can accommodate more users.


Septic tank systems can be installed in remote areas where public sewer systems are not available, but they can also be affected by soil type, groundwater level, and other factors. Public sewer systems are typically available in urban and suburban areas, but may not be accessible in rural areas.

Overall, the choice between a septic tank system and a public sewer system depends on factors such as location, cost, and environmental impact. Homeowners in remote areas or areas with unreliable public sewer systems may prefer a septic tank system, while those in urban or suburban areas may prefer the convenience and reliability of a public sewer system.


Overall, a septic tank system can be an economical and environmentally friendly choice for homes that lack access to public sewers. Although it requires more maintenance than connecting to public sewer systems, it provides many benefits such as lower initial cost and less risk of contamination. It is important to do your research on the pros and cons of a septic tank system before making any decisions about installation or maintenance.