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How long do septic tanks last?

Posted on April 4, 2018

If it is not feasible to connect your home or business to the mains sewer line, a septic tank system is the perfect alternative. With the right septic tank and drainage field installed, you will have all you need for environmentally friendly sewage and wastewater treatment for your premises.

Septic tanks are an effective and reliable sewage treatment method which should give you many years of untroubled service, provided you carry out proper septic system maintenance. The lifespan of your septic system depends upon a variety of factors, the most influential of which we will look at in this article.

Factors which influence septic tank lifespan

Septic tank pumping – a key part of septic tank maintenance is getting your tank pumped to clear it of waste and sludge. The frequency you should get your tank pumped depends on usage and the size of your tank – a professional installer can advise you on a schedule to suit your needs – but generally, every year or two should suffice.

Servicing – tank pumping isn’t the only maintenance which needs to be carried out. Whilst pumping will rid your tank of waste build up, you should still get periodic professional servicing as well. This will include an inspection to look out for and rectify any septic tank problems or faults, and potentially a system clean too.

Usage – a heavily used system is bound to wear quicker than one which is more sparingly used. Obviously you should still use your water when you need it but by being water-conscious – for example, ensuring any leaky, constantly running toilets or taps are fixed, or by spreading out washing machine loads across the week instead overwhelming the system in one day – you can be kind to your system.

Furthermore, you should ensure that you only flush or drain away wastewater and biodegradable items. Items such as nappies, baby wipes, sanitary products and chemicals shouldn’t be allowed into your septic tank system as they can cause blockages and impact normal functioning.

Installation – quite simply, if you choose a professional company who are experts in wastewater systems, your system is likely to be installed correctly and with care – and should last longer as a result.

Tank material – septic tanks can come in various different materials and each have different life expectancies. A steel septic tank can be susceptible to rusting and has a life expectancy of around 15 to 20 years. Plastic tanks last longer – around 30 years or so – and concrete tanks, which are the sturdiest, can last for 40 years or more.

Environment – a professional installer will be able to advise you where best to install your septic tank, but various factors related to the environment of your tank can still have an affect on its lifespan down the line. The acidity of the soil can affect degradation; excess water from roof runoff or proximity to streams can affect absorption of your drainage field and back ups; the root growth of nearby trees can cause damage to tanks.


Wildon UK are sewage treatment and drainage experts who offer a wide range of services to clients in Stoke on Trent and across the UK. Our highly trained, skilled team have a wealth of experience which they utilise during all work, from septic tank installations to maintenance and repairs. During our many years of operation, we have built up expertise which allows us to work on a wide range of systems. Get in touch with our helpful team today with any enquiries.

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  • Design
    As wastewater specialists, we can design a system that is tailored around your individual needs.

  • Supply
    Once a design has been created we will supply and install it safely at your premises.

  • Maintenance
    We are on hand to carry out any maintenance duties to avoid unwanted problems in the future.

  • Repairs
    Our wastewater engineers are highly trained to perform any repairs necessary to keep your system working efficiently.

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