Can a Septic Tank be too Big?

Septic Tank

Whether you own a home in a rural or suburban area without access to a municipal sewage system, you’re likely familiar with the term “septic tank.” It is an essential component of a private sewage disposal system designed to hold and treat wastewater from your household.

Here’s a question you should ask yourself: whether a septic tank can be too big. In this article post, we’ll discuss this commonly debated topic and give you the truth behind the myth.

Reasons Why Your Septic Tank Might be too big

There is always the notion that bigger is always better. However, that’s only sometimes the case regarding septic tank sizing. While ensuring that your septic tank is appropriately sized to handle your household’s wastewater is vital, an oversized tank can cause several issues that may surprise you.

So, can a septic tank be too big? The answer is yes. A septic tank can indeed be too big for your household’s needs. Here are a few reasons why:

Retention Time: This is the time wastewater spends in the septic tank, which is a crucial factor in effective treatment. Septic tanks allow solid waste to settle at the bottom and bacteria to break down the waste. If the tank is smaller, the retention time reduces, leading to efficient treatment and potential solids and sludge buildup.

Cost: A larger septic tank translates to higher installation and maintenance expenses. Septic tanks are priced based on size; a larger tank naturally comes with a heftier price tag. Investing in a tank that exceeds your household’s needs can mean shelling out unnecessary money without reaping any additional benefits.

Drain Field Overloading: Drain field overloading is another issue that can arise with an oversized septic tank. Septic tanks discharge treated liquid waste into a drain field for further treatment.

If the tank is too big, it may release excessive amounts of liquid waste into the drain field, overwhelming the soil’s capacity to absorb and treat the wastewater. This can result in waterlogging, surface ponding, and potential contamination of groundwater and surface water, posing environmental and health risks.

Environmental Impact: An oversized septic tank may have a detrimental impact on the environment. Septic tanks are designed to treat wastewater and protect the environment by preventing contamination of water sources. However, suppose the septic tank is too large; in that case, it may not effectively treat the wastewater, leading to potential pollution of the environment and posing a risk to local ecosystems and public health.

How to Determine the Correct Size of a Septic Tank for you? 

It is best to work with a qualified septic system professional like us here at Countryside Plumbing Sewer and Septic, who can thoroughly assess your household’s needs, considering the number of bedrooms or occupants, daily water usage, soil characteristics, and local regulations.

A percolation or soil test may also get conducted to evaluate the soil’s ability to absorb and treat the wastewater. Based on the results, we can then recommend an appropriate tank size.

In summary, an oversized septic tank can lead to several issues you can avoid. That is why working with a qualified septic system professional is crucial to determine the right size for your home. Book a consultation with the 5 Star Rated Plumber and Septic Contractor you can trust for a trouble-free septic operation.

Contact Countryside Sewer and Septic today for your septic and plumbing needs.