Comparing Septic Systems vs Sewer
Household drainage systems manage the wastewater and sewage from our homes. They filter pathogens and bacteria from grey water (which comes out of sink and shower drains), and black water (which is the water that you flush) – and make it possible for us to take showers, do laundry, wash our dishes, and flush toilets.
There are two types of systems: SEWER and SEPTIC
Below are some pros & cons – and basic facts – to help explain the differences between the two.
SEWER: A sewer system connects entire communities to a central treatment plant via underground pipes, and uses chemicals and energy to pump and treat the water.
- Sewer systems are maintained by local government, so residents don’t have to handle the maintenance, but they do have to pay the bills.
- The resale value on homes connected to sewer lines is often higher, as many homeowners prefer them over septic.
- Many homeowners consider a sewer system to be cheaper, and require less maintenance, than a septic system.
- There are some concerns regarding the stability of sewage treatment plants, which can overflow in times of heavy rainfall, or usage, and have an impact on rivers and waterways.
- Sewers can get clogged, which may cause sewage to plug up toilets, sinks, and bathtubs.
SEPTIC SYSTEM: Septic tanks are an environmentally friendly alternative to sewer systems. As the public has become more aware of the need to protect the environment, properties with septic tanks are growing in popularity with eco-minded homebuyers.
A septic system is a concrete or steel tank that’s installed underground outside of a property. Wastewater goes in one side and filters out the other side into a drain field. Septic systems pump and treat water without energy or chemicals, and used water is returned to the aquifer.
For a home in a remote area, connecting to a sewer system would be costly, and can only be done if there are existing sewage lines nearby – which makes septic a great option.
- Septic systems only need minor upkeep to work perfectly.
- Maintaining a septic system is the responsibility of the homeowner, but a septic tank should require little upkeep as long as the tank is pumped and maintained at recommended intervals.
- Residents need to be careful about what they flush or wash down the drain to prevent clogging.
- Systems with steel tanks can last for 15-20 years, and concrete tanks can last up to 40 years.
- A septic system can be installed almost anywhere with healthy soil.
COMPARING THE COST: The cost of septic system maintenance is often discussed, but municipal sewer systems can also have significant expenses.
SEWER: Homeowners are charged for the initial installation on sewage systems, then they pay for their monthly usage, as well as for any repairs or improvements to the system.
SEPTIC: The cost of having a septic system is only for the pumping, which needs to be done every 3-5 years. It usually costs a few hundred dollars, and if maintained properly, some tanks can go 10 years (or more) between pumps.
If you’re in need of maintenance or pumping on your septic system, contact us to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment.