Among the most common questions we hear from clients looking to install a new septic tank on their property is, “How big should my septic tank be?” The answer really depends on a variety of factors, including the kind of tank you’ll get and the size of your household in Modesto, CA.
Here are a few of the issues you’ll need to consider as you prepare to install a new septic tank on your property.
The basics you should know about septic tanks
Septic tanks are units that are built to hold residential wastewater. They get pumped every three to five years on average to remove the solid waste, which settles at the bottom to create a sludge layer. Oil, grease and soap residue create a scum layer that floats around the top. In between these two layers is the wastewater, or effluent, which exits the tank through a series of pipes and enters the drain field, where it naturally filters into the ground.
Most residential septic tanks will be in the neighborhood of 750 to 1,250 gallons, but this will depend on the type of the tank and the size of the household. The most common types of tanks are made of concrete, but these are quite difficult to install due to their sheer weight. Polyethylene and fiberglass tanks are also common, and they are lighter and ideal for installing in remote places.
When determining the size of the tank you will install on your property, the most important variables to consider are the square footage of your house, the number of bedrooms you have and the number of people who will be living in the home.
The general guideline is that a one- or two-bedroom home with less than 1500 square feet of space will require merely a 750-gallon tank. A 1,000-gallon tank is ideal for three-bedroom homes with less than 2,500 square feet. A 1,250-gallon tank is meant for four-bedroom homes of 3,500 square feet or less. All of these figures are assuming all the bedrooms are occupied and that you have a full house.
Keep in mind that these are merely estimates and general guidelines. We strongly encourage you to work with a septic system professional, who will be able to give you a better idea of what your needs are given the size of your household.
You should also keep in mind that building codes can vary from location to location, and that those building codes could affect your choice of the type of septic tank you’ll use, as well as its size and placement.
For more information about installing septic tanks and what you should know about choosing how big your septic tank should be, we encourage you to contact Alvarado Pumping Septic Service. Our septic service in Modesto, CA works with clients in households of all sizes and are more than capable of determining the type of septic system that will work best for your household when you’re preparing to install a new one.