A septic system is usually used by property owners who are not connected to their city's sewer system; when toilets flush or you turn on a sink or shower, the water goes to the tank where solid matter is filtered and mixed with chemicals to help it break down, while the liquid goes to a runoff point. There are many different types of septic systems but they all work with a tank, and the tank is usually available in a variety of materials. Note a few choices here so you can ensure you choose the right tank to work with your septic system.
It's never good for property owners to use homemade tanks or anything other than a tank meant for a septic system; solid matter can seep through a wood tank very easily and cause it to rot and warp. If you don't ensure that connectors are sealed properly in a homemade tank, or if there are open seams to the tank, this too can mean leaking solid matter and soil contamination.
The advantage of concrete tanks is that they can be poured and shaped in any way, so you can fit a tank in a small property if you need one in an L-shape to go around a garage or other outbuilding. Concrete tanks need to be reinforced and lined, as concrete can become soft and damaged when exposed continually to moisture. The weight of the tank may also cause it to settle into the ground or shift so that the tank may leak or spill over. The condition of soil should be tested regularly to ensure it's compacted and strong enough to hold the tank in position.
Steel is very lightweight; however, it does tend to rust. Depending on your soil conditions, a steel tank may start to rust within just a few years, and you would need to have it repaired and patched. For tropical areas or areas with lots of moisture in the soil, they may not be the best or longest lasting choice.
Fiberglass is the same material often used for above ground swimming pools, so you know it's watertight and very lightweight. However, it is usually the most expensive choice for septic tanks and it may risk being damaged during installation if you don't have a professional install the tank for you. The fiberglass may get dented or dinged as it's buried or if it should brush up against tree roots and other underground obstructions, so you need to consider the expense of a professional installer when considering the cost of a fiberglass tank.
If you'd like more information about what kind of septic tank would be best for your system, contact Biosystems 2000.