Types Of Septic Tank Materials: Pros & Cons

We’ll be discussing all the septic tank materials available as well as the pros & cons associated with each.

So, are you ready? We are!

When installing a septic tank, homeowners need to decide the type of tank to install. This is often the case due to the variety of materials these tanks are made of.

The type of septic tank material you settle for will largely be influenced by your needs and preferences.

If you’re having difficulty choosing or are limited by knowledge on the different types available, this article is just what you need to read.

Why Material Matters In Septic Tanks

When a septic tank is being cast or manufactured, it’s done to serve a specific need.

Now, one of the many purposes of septic tanks is for wastewater treatment. These tanks are critical components of the septic system whose importance cannot be ignored.

When designing a tank, the needs of the homeowner need to be considered.

The best way to consider the buyer is by providing options. With greater options, homeowners can make a pick that best fits their unique needs.

Septic Tank Material List

Apart from the different designs available, septic tanks are manufactured using a variety of materials.

There are basically four types of materials that include fiberglass, concrete, plastic, and steel. Based on the differences in material, the issue of durability comes into play.

All of these materials have their variations in durability. In other words, these tanks will basically serve their functions, but the type of material used will determine how durable they are.

Let’s take a look at each type of septic tank material available.

i. Fiberglass Septic Tanks

If you’re looking for a septic tank that’s resistant to rust, those made of fiberglass should naturally fall within your line of possible picks. These are also called fiberglass reinforced plastic tanks.

If you’re wondering how these are produced, production basically follows or takes any of two procedures; one-piece or two-piece production (injection molding process).

As with septic tanks made with other materials, fiberglass tanks could turn out defective when manufacturing standards aren’t adhered to.

  • Advantages

Are there any advantages associated with septic tanks made of fiberglass material? There are!

First, you have the benefit of convenience. Unlike septic tanks made of concrete, fiberglass septic tanks require less land excavation area when installing.

Its high efficiency is guaranteed by its excellent sealing function that ensures anaerobic decay or breakdown of wastewater is effectively done. This makes it much better than most traditional septic tanks.

Fiberglass septic tanks are mostly resistant to acid & alkali action. These tanks don’t age easily and can serve for as much as 50 years! This tank should naturally be among your first picks when it comes to environmental protection.

The production process of a fiberglass septic tank includes whole-shape production.

This offers a great sealing function, hence the absence of leakage. This means zero pollution of surface water, groundwater, absence of corrosion to nearby trees & flowers, etc.

Fiberglass septic tanks are known to be durable in addition to being rustproof. Plus, these tanks are stronger compared to those made of plastic material.

  • Disadvantages

Despite the many benefits of fiberglass septic tanks, it’s not all rosy. There are downsides associated with its use.

Sometimes soils become unstable due to buoyant forces pushing outward especially when the water table rises. This could lead to such tanks popping out.

In some other cases, septic tanks made of fiberglass could be shifted by these forces.

ii. Concrete Septic Tanks

Of all the others, concrete septic tanks are the heaviest.

This is obvious due to the nature of the materials they’re made from. These tanks come pre-casted and would normally resist or withstand buoyant forces acting on them.

Now, there are basically two types of concrete septic tanks; the all-in-one system and single structure tanks. Like the name implies, all-in-one concrete tanks house all chambers.

This is unlike single structure concrete tanks where the chambers are separately pre-casted.

  • Advantages

Concrete septic tanks have obvious advantages.

Such advantages include higher effluent capacity compared with other tank types. This prevents a situation where the tank fills up too quickly. Concrete tanks would normally come first for persons particularly about long life expectancy.

Unlike most other tanks, there is less chance of a concrete septic tank being damaged during transportation & installation. There’s less risk of a concrete tank collapsing when being pumped.

These tanks are watertight and also compliant with all building regulations.

  • Disadvantages

If you’re particular about cost or working on a tight budget, then concrete septic tanks won’t be among your options. In other words, this is costly compared to the others. Damaged concrete septic tanks are difficult to fix.

Plus, you’ll need large equipment to transport pre-casted tanks.

What more, during construction, concrete septic tanks made with the low-quality concrete mix are likely to develop cracks and leaks.

iii. Plastic Septic Tanks

Plastic septic tanks are among other variants to consider. It’s needless to say these are made from polyethylene plastic. Compared to concrete tanks, these are much lighter.

This allows for easier maneuverability during installation.

  • Advantages

Plastic septic tanks are unlikely to crack like those made of concrete.

These tanks are the perfect fit for those on a budget. It’s rustproof, easier to install, and are resistant to chemical action.

  • Disadvantages

Because these tanks are less dense, you may have to deal with the possibility of a pop-out when buoyant forces act on it. Consider examining the water table within your surroundings to limit such possibility.

Plastic septic tanks may give way under harsh conditions.

iv. Steel Septic Tanks

The name alone shows what this category of septic tank is made of.

Unlike in the past, there has been a steady decline in the use of steel septic tanks. One of the likely reasons will be its fast deterioration due to rust.

  • Advantages

Unlike plastic or fiberglass tanks, there’s less possibility of steel septic tanks popping out due to the action of buoyant forces. In other words, septic tanks made of steel material are much heavier than fiberglass or plastic tanks.

  • Disadvantages

These tanks are less durable, yet costly.

Considering what these tanks would hold, the materials they’re made of make such tanks unfavorable as they easily corrode. When it corrodes, removing a steel tank from the ground is quite challenging and costly.

These are the four main types of septic tank materials you’ll find.

The information provided here serves as a guide to enable you to make informed decisions.

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