Change Your Home One Step at a Time

Change Your Home One Step at a Time

4 Interesting Facts About City Sewer Versus Septic Systems

by Aiden Carroll

If you move from a home that is on city sewer to a home that has its own septic tank, there are many differences between the two types of sewage systems. It is important that you know these differences so you don't do any damage to your septic system. Here are four interesting facts about the differences and similarities between city sewer and septic systems.

#1 Your Home's Septic Tank is Your Own Personal Sewage Treatment Facility

Each time you flush your toilets, and rinse water down the drain, the water and debris exit out your home's sewage pipe into your septic tank where it is sorted into three layers. 

The top layer in your septic tank is a layer of floating scum. The middle layer is mostly made up of water. The third layer is made up of heavy material which sinks to the bottom of your septic tank.  

As your septic tank collects waste from your house, the middle liquid layer feeds out a pipe opposite where it enters. This pipe delivers the waste water to several underground drain fields in your yard. The water drains out of perforated pipes into gravel and into the surrounding soil. 

#2 You Can Clog Your Septic Tank Just Like Your City Sewer Line

When your septic tank gets overwhelmed with materials, some of the materials end up in the drain fields, stinking up your yard and clogging the septic system. For this reason it is important to be aware of what can and can't go into your septic tank. 

Just as you would not flush grease, cooking oils, disposable diapers and paper towels into the city sewer, you wouldn't flush them into your septic tank either. Items that don't break down easily in your septic tank will plug it up.

Be careful not to use your home's garbage disposal too much as this can send an overload of non-liquid materials to your septic tank. The floating scum and sinking sludge will get too thick inside your tank, causing problems with the liquid's ability to drain properly. When this occurs, you will need to pump your septic tank more often or else risk your yard filling up with stinky sewage.

#3 You Don't Pay City Fees to Run Your Septic Tank

Another difference with having a septic tank is not having to pay city sewage fees. Because a septic tank is a complete system in your yard, it is your own responsibility to maintain it. 

You do need to budget to have your septic system pumped and maintained every few years. The annual cost of maintaining your septic system can be between $100 and $300. The size of your septic tank and the number of people using the system will determine how often you need to have it maintained. 

If you take care of your septic system, it can last for 25 to 30 years.

#4  Where You Live Can Affect Your Septic Tank's Maintenance Schedule

In northern climates, the temperature can be cooler, leading to less bacteria growth inside your septic tank. The bacteria that live inside your septic tank help to break down the waste that flows into it. When the outside temperature is higher, as in southern climates, the heat causes more bacteria to grow and thrive, breaking down more waste. 

So, if you live in a northern climate, you will need to have your septic tank maintained more frequently than if you live in a southern climate. With less bacteria eating away at the waste, it will build up more quickly.

It is important to know the differences between city sewer and a septic system so you can keep your septic system working properly for many years.

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About Me

Change Your Home One Step at a Time

The best way to handle major home renovations is to take them one step at a time. Instead of trying to change your whole home at once, start small. I started with the guest bathroom, then the guest bedroom, then moved on to my kids’ rooms, my bedroom, and the living room. Now I’m working on remodeling the kitchen. I started this blog to help other people who are attempting major home renovations. I’ll show you how to change your whole home by breaking it up into manageable chunks. Wondering which kitchen counters are right for you, or how to add more space to your bedroom? We’ll go over the pros and cons of different materials and discuss DIY renovation projects. Before you know it, you’ll have created your dream home.