Getting A New Septic Tank? Follow These 3 Steps
Septic tanks have long lifespans, but they don't last forever. When your old system begins to fail, you'll need a new tank to keep your plumbing working correctly and prevent potential hazards from developing on your property. However, septic tank system installation can be more involved than many renovation projects.
While your septic installer will help you make the necessary preparations, it can be helpful to understand what's likely to happen. These three steps will prepare you for your new installation so you can avoid any surprises when work begins.
1. Make Room for Heavy Equipment
If you're installing or replacing a concrete septic tank, expect plenty of heavy equipment on your property. Your installer will need to excavate the old tank, which typically requires a backhoe ladder at a minimum. If your septic tank is a hard-to-reach area, you'll need to consider the access requirements for any equipment that will arrive on-site.
It's worth considering any critical landscaping or other yard features that you want to protect. You should alert your installer to any areas you're concerned about and provide alternate paths for equipment if necessary. Remember that your contractor will ultimately require access to the tank, so some disruption to your property may be unavoidable.
2. Test Your Existing Leach Field
Leach (or drain) fields can fail over time. These failures often occur due to soil compression, inadequate tank cleaning, or simply time. Leach fields and tanks don't always fail simultaneously, but you will need a test to be sure. Your installer will check the condition of your leach field to determine if it can continue to handle effluent at an acceptable rate.
Depending on the cause of the failure, you may be able to rehabilitate a failed leach field without building a new one. This approach can save you money, although it may only be a temporary solution. Whatever the case, your leach field will need to be in good condition to avoid creating issues for your new tank.
3. Prepare for a Significant Disruption
Septic tank installation is a big job, and that means you can expect a disruption that may last several days or longer. Fortunately, you can use your toilets, sinks, and showers for most of this time, assuming your current system is still functional. However, you should expect to have crews working in your yard for the better part of a week.
While putting in a new septic tank can require a lot of time and work, it's worth it to ensure your home's wastewater system continues to function. Once your installer completes the job, you can expect your new septic tank to last for many decades to come.