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Septic Tank or Public Sewer System: Which is Right for You?

There are two main options for removing waste from your home. The two choices are septic and public waste systems, also known as municipal sewer systems. When building a home, you must decide which system works best for you. Keep reading to learn more about these two systems and the pros and cons of each.

Pros of Municipal Sewer Systems

A municipal sewer system is a system that is available in urban locations. Cities, suburbs, and small towns all have sewer systems. These systems support many homes, businesses, and municipal and commercial properties. There are some clear benefits to paying for using a municipal sewer system. You are not required to provide maintenance for the sewer line. Municipal sewers also offer a flush-and-forget type of user experience. You don't need special property testing to use a municipal sewer.

If you choose to get a municipal sewer, your upfront costs can range from about $1,800-$5,000 for installation, depending on how far away you are from the junction point and how much length of piping you need for the installation. However, once your home is on the municipal sewer line, you will not have to worry about maintenance. The authorities in your area take care of maintenance.

Cons of Municipal Sewer Systems

It is not free to be on the municipal sewer system. Installation costs are not the only costs to tie into a municipal sewer. If there is a clog miles away, it can affect your home. One of the most concerning problems for homeowners is the cost of a municipal sewer. In some regions, once you pay for installation at your cost, you still must pay the municipality to connect to the sewer. That cost can be upwards of $20,000. You also must pay a monthly fee, or sometimes the cost is rolled into your annual tax bill. Either way, it can get expensive.

Pros of Septic Tank Systems

A septic system contains a few working parts. The tank is usually made of concrete, polyethylene, or fiberglass and buried on your property. Perforated pipes are attached to the tank, carrying waste out of the tank into a leach field somewhere on your property. It can be a very cost-effective option for your home. It can make your home self-sufficient. Septic systems cost less to install. You also do not have to pay a monthly fee. Overall, septic systems are the cheaper option. Rural homes usually have to have a septic system installed, but even those living on the outskirts of suburban areas choose a septic system because of its affordability.

Cons of Septic Tank Systems

You must take responsibility for maintenance. You have to be very careful about what you flush (truth be told, even on a city sewer system, you should be very careful about what you flush). You will need to ensure that your property passes the PERC test. If you are on a septic and well system, you must closely monitor what goes down your drains. 140 chemicals require the owner of the chemicals to submit a "risk management plan" to avoid potential pollutants and other risks.

Some lawn fertilizers and other preparations contain several chemicals on the list. This rule is in place specifically to protect against groundwater contamination. What you flush down your drain can affect your groundwater, especially if your home uses a septic system. Many homes that use septic systems also use well water. A well-pump can last about 10-15 years. However, if you do not monitor what you flush, you can contaminate your water supply and ultimately have to replace your pump.

Maintenance should be done about every three years by a professional. Despite the few drawbacks, many people find that a septic system is a perfect solution. Call today to learn more about what option is suitable for your home.

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