How Long Does a Septic Tank Last?

Septic tanks and lift stations are some of the most important components of a home – and certainly the most important component of its plumbing system. Not only does it remove wastewater, but it treats it and stores it – making its use vital. 

But how long do they last? Is this something like a roof – where you’ll have to consider replacing it every 20 years or so? That’s what we’re here to answer today. Here, we’ll walk you through what you need to know about a septic tank’s lifespan.

The average life

Septic tanks usually last somewhere between 25 and 30 years. But with the right kind of maintenance – some tanks can last significantly longer than that. The key to extending its lifespan as long as possible is through regular, ongoing maintenance. That means having it serviced once a year and pumped at least twice a year. Now tanks come in all shapes and sizes so the need for both of these might vary – but regardless of the size, you should make sure your tank is being maintained regularly. 

Impact of soil type

The kind of soil that you have on your property can influence this as well. While it can get a little particular – we generally tell folks that the sandier the soil – the longer your tank is likelier to last. Sandy soil tends to drain better and allows the tank to use bacteria to bust up waste more effectively and efficiently. This wouldn’t be as true if you had thicker, more clay-based soil. 

The type of your tank can matter

A lot of older septic tanks are made out of steel – which are far less durable than the more modern concrete and fiberglass models that you find today. Steel tanks last more in the 15-20 year span. They’re more susceptible to rust and corrosion especially if you live in a particularly rainy area of the country. 

Concrete tanks are the longest-lasting. Usually, they’re good to go for up to 40 years give or take – so long as you’re properly maintaining them. They’re also far more resistant to the elements – meaning the need for costly maintenance will be reduced as well. 

Water tables

High water tables are sometimes a significant issue for septic tanks. Why? Higher water tables make it harder for your tank to drain properly and that can lead to backups and other issues. If you’re in an area with a high water table you really want to make sure you’re on some sort of an ongoing maintenance plan as you’re at significantly more risk for something to happen. 

We hope you found today’s blog helpful. If your septic tank or lift station needs monitoring and ongoing maintenance, give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help. Until then – good luck!