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How Long Will Your Septic System Last?

It would be nice if septic system owners could just flush waste down the drain and not worry about what happens afterwards, but alas, that is not the case.

If you want to get the most out of your septic system investment—and prevent flushing cash down the drain—you must research how to properly treat and maintain your system before problems arise.

There are many steps to be taken to help your system live up to its full potential and reach its maximum intended lifespan. How long your septic system will last depends on many factors, specifically the type of system you have and the conditions surrounding it.

What Determines How Long My System Should Last?

1. Installation
If you are researching septic system longevity because you are about to have a new one installed, make sure it’s done correctly. This is the most relevant aspect of determining how long a system will last.

A poorly installed septic system can fail in as little as a few weeks, so a little money saved now could end up costing much more in the very near future.
2. Types of Septic Tank
The material your tank consists of is a big factor in determining how long your system should last. Many septic tanks are made of steel, which is strong and resistant to most outside forces; however, these tanks often rust, which will quickly diminish their lifespans.

Typically, a steel septic tank will last between 15 and 20 years. Tanks made of concrete or plastic are usually preferable in terms of longevity. A properly maintained septic system with a concrete tank can last well over 40 years.
3. System Location
The location of your septic system is another important factor in determining how long it should last. It needs to be as far from creeks, streams and other areas prone to flooding as possible. You also do not want to have roof or other surface runoff near your septic system. This can affect the soil absorption which can cause your system to back up. Nearby trees or other large plants with aggressively growing roots can also cause problems.
4. System Usage
It stands to reason that a system used more frequently than usual will deteriorate more quickly. This doesn’t mean you should always worry about how often you flush, but system usage is a factor to consider. Constantly running toilets, water softeners stuck in “backwash” and other malfunctioning equipment could be putting an unnecessary strain on your septic tank and throughout the system.

How Can I Make My System Last Longer?

While all of the above factors are crucial in system longevity, many of them are probably out of your control by the time your system is installed; this doesn’t mean you can’t lengthen the life of it.

There are many things a homeowner can do to properly maintain their septic system, most specifically by watching what they flush. Normally, you only want to flush waste water and toilet paper, but there are some things you want to take special care to avoid flushing, such as:

  • Paper towels
  • Sanitary wipes
  • Chemicals
  • Anything that is not biodegradable

Call The Experts
Having your system regularly pumped by certified professionals can also go a long way in maximizing its lifespan. The experts at Paradise Septic have been proudly serving customers in the Phoenix Valley and surrounding areas since 1958. They can help with all your septic maintenance and repair needs and will make sure your septic system is installed right the first time. Contact Paradise Septic today.

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