Maintaining a Safe Septic System

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Getting A Septic Tank? 4 Things That Will Help Determine The Size

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Septic tanks are not a one-size-fits-all type of purchase, with tanks being made in a variety of sizes to accommodate any household. These tips will help you determine how big of a septic tank you need.

The City and State Regulations

Start by figuring out what type of regulations your city or state may have when it comes to septic tank sizes, since that may ultimately guide your decision to not get a septic tank that is too small.

For example, Arizona has rules for the minimum sizes of septic tanks based on the amount of bedrooms, bathrooms, fixtures, and occupants. A home with 2 bedrooms and a total of 4 occupants needs a minimum of a 1,000 gallon septic tank, while a bigger home with 6 bedrooms and 12 occupants would require a 2,000 gallon septic tank.

The Number of People In Your Home

Having a small amount of bedrooms does not necessarily mean you should have a small septic tank. Even if you meet the minimum requirements due to the amount of bedrooms and occupants, having more people in your home will push the water usage at all times. Going with the minimum size requirement could mean having to constantly think about your water usage as opposed to being more relaxed about it.

The Appliances That You Own

While every home will have showers, toilets, and sinks, there are some appliances that are completely optional that affect water use. Your dishwasher and washing machine are two of those that tend to produce a lot of wastewater. Fortunately, you do not need these things to get by. It's easy to wash dishes by hand, and there are local laundromats where you can take your dirty clothes to be washed. Not having these appliances in your home may mean that you don't need to pay to get a larger septic tank.

The Pumping Schedule

It's a good idea to look at a septic tank pumping schedule, which is based on the size of the tank and how many people are in your home. You may discover that a 1,500 gallon septic tank for a family of 2 only needs to be pumped every 9 years, which is a bit overkill. By getting a septic tank that is a smaller size, you'll find that the cost associated with pumping the tank more frequently will be less than the additional money required to get the significantly larger tank.

Expect to pay $270 for each time your septic tank is pumped.  Meanwhile, the additional cost to go from a 1,000 gallon septic tank to a 1,500 gallon septic tank is about $7,000.  If you think a bigger tank will save you money in pumping costs, know that you'll never make up the difference.

For more help deciding on the size of your septic tank, work with a septic tank installation company in your area. Visit to learn more.