Advantages and Disadvantages of Concrete Septic Tanks - Owner Builder Club

Advantages and Disadvantages of Concrete Septic Tanks

Concrete Septic Tanks

Ever given a thought to what happens after you flush your loo? While it's not the most glamorous topic, it's undoubtedly one of the most essential aspects of modern living. You got it right; we're talking about the unsung heroes of our homes – concrete septic tanks.

In Australia, where a considerable number of us live outside the reach of municipal sewer systems, these tanks play a pivotal role in managing household waste. They're our private, underground wastewater treatment systems, silently working day and night to keep our environment clean and healthy.

But did you know not all septic tanks are created equal? That's right! The material of your tank can make a world of difference in its performance and lifespan. Among the various types available, one stands out as a popular choice for many Aussie homeowners – concrete.

So, why do Aussies lean towards concrete septic tanks? What advantages do they offer, and are there any downsides? Stick around as we dive into the nitty-gritty of this crucial home component, focusing on concrete septic tanks and their place in the Australian landscape.

Ready to take the plunge? Let's get started!

Why Septic Tank Materials Matter

You might be thinking, “Why does it matter what my septic tank is made of?” 

Well, just like picking the right materials can make or break a pavlova, the same goes for your underground waste management system. The material of your tank can significantly impact its functionality, longevity, and environmental footprint.

For instance, plastic tanks may seem appealing due to their lightweight and easy installation, but they often have higher environmental burdens. On the other hand, concrete tanks, while heavier and requiring professional installation, can offer extended service life, which means fewer materials are used in manufacturing new tanks, leading to a lower overall environmental impact.

And let's not forget about the unique environmental conditions in Aus. With bushfires being a regular occurrence, having a fire-resistant septic tank is critical.

And guess what?

Concrete tanks tick this box too.

Common Septic Tanks in Australia

Now that we understand why materials matter, let's take a look at the most common types of septic tanks you'll find in Aussie backyards. We've got plastic, steel, and yes, our mate – concrete.

Plastic tanks are loved for their lightweight nature and ease of installation. Steel tanks, though less common these days, are still around due to their strength. But when it comes to durability, resistance to bushfires, and environmental sustainability, concrete tanks often steal the show.

However, before we start cheering for concrete, it's essential to understand that every rose has its thorns.

So, in the spirit of a fair dinkum analysis, the next sections will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of concrete septic tanks.

Advantages of Concrete Septic Tanks

So, why do some Aussies swear by concrete for their septic systems? Let's break it down.


First off, we have durability. Just like a well-built brick barbecue can stand the test of time (and many sausage sizzles), concrete septic systems are built to last. They can weather years of use, making them a favourite choice for many homeowners.


Next up is weight. Now, you might be scratching your head, thinking, “Why is weight an advantage?” Imagine a surprise flood after a heavy downpour. A lighter tank could potentially float up and cause significant damage. But a concrete tank? It stays put, right where it belongs – underground.


Finally, there's the resistance to bushfires. In a country where bushfires are unfortunately all too common, having a fire-resistant septic system gives homeowners one less thing to worry about when the heat turns up.

All these advantages make concrete septic systems particularly suitable for Aussie conditions. They're tough, they're reliable, and they can handle whatever Mother Nature throws their way.

But, as with all things in life, they're not perfect.

Disadvantages of Concrete Septic Tanks

While concrete septic tanks have their strong points, they do come with a few potential downsides. It's like Australian footy – there's plenty to love, but there are also aspects that can leave us scratching our heads.


One concern with concrete septic tanks is their susceptibility to cracking over time. Just as the harsh Aussie sun can cause the soil to crack during a dry spell, concrete tanks can also develop cracks if not properly maintained. This not only reduces the lifespan of the tank but could also lead to leaks, causing both a mess in your yard and a potential hazard to the local groundwater.


Then there's the issue of weight. Remember when we said the weight of a concrete tank could be an advantage? Well, it's a bit of a double-edged sword. The heft of these tanks means they generally require professional installation. So, for those DIY enthusiasts out there, this might be a bit of a drawback.


Lastly, there's the potential for groundwater contamination. If a concrete tank isn't correctly sealed or if it cracks, harmful bacteria from the waste could seep into the surrounding soil and water. Not exactly what you want happening in your backyard, right?

So, while concrete septic tanks offer several benefits, it's essential to be aware of these potential pitfalls. After all, knowledge is power – especially when it comes to managing your home's waste system!

Things To Consider When Building/Buying Septic Tanks

Choosing a septic tank isn't as simple as picking out a new barbecue. It's a big decision that can impact your home and land for years to come. So, what should you consider when making this choice?

Firstly, local regulations. Just like there are rules about where you can park your ute, there are also guidelines about septic tank installation. You'll need to check with your local council to make sure your chosen tank meets all the necessary requirements.

Secondly, soil type. The type of soil in your backyard can affect what kind of tank you should choose. For example, sandy soil might not support a heavy concrete tank as well as clay soil would. It's always good to know what you're working with before making a decision.

Lastly, climate. Australia's weather is as diverse as its wildlife. The climate in your area (including rainfall, temperature, and risk of natural disasters) can impact the best choice of tank material. Concrete tanks, for instance, are great for areas prone to bushfires, but might not fare as well in flood-prone regions.

And don't forget about government guidelines! In Australia, all septic systems must meet certain standards to ensure they're safe and environmentally friendly. So, make sure you do your homework before diving in.

Final Verdict

So, are concrete septic tanks the right choice for Aussie homeowners? Well, like a good game of cricket, it's not quite black and white.

The final verdict? 

Concrete septic tanks can be a great choice for many Australian homes. But like any big decision, it's important to weigh up all the pros and cons, consider your local conditions, and comply with all regulations. Because when it comes to managing your home's waste, you want to make sure you're making the right call.

Check out this national supplier of concrete septic tanks – click here!

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I have my concrete septic tank serviced?

The rule of thumb is to have your septic tank inspected every 3-5 years by a professional. However, this can vary depending on factors like the size of your tank and the number of people in your household.

How long does a concrete septic tank last?

With proper care and maintenance, a concrete septic tank can last for several decades. Some even last up to 40 years or more.

Can I install a concrete septic tank myself?

Due to their heavy weight and the technicalities involved, it's recommended that concrete septic tanks be installed by professionals. Remember, improper installation can lead to problems down the line.

What should I do if my concrete septic tank cracks?

If you notice a crack in your septic tank, it's crucial to get it repaired immediately to prevent leaks and potential groundwater contamination. Contact a professional for advice and repair services.

Are concrete septic tanks environmentally friendly?

When properly installed and maintained, concrete septic tanks can be an environmentally sound choice. They treat wastewater onsite, reducing the need for energy-intensive sewage transportation.

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