Choosing Between Steel, Plastic, And Concrete Septic Tanks

Posted on: 28 June 2018

American households discharge 3.5 billion gallons of liquid waste each year. In most jurisdictions that require a septic tank, you will usually need a tank that holds a minimum of 1,000 gallons. The tank that you use to store all of that waste can be made from one of several materials, including concrete, polyethylene, or steel. Since any of these tanks can work as long as they are properly installed, it will be up to you to decide which option is right for you.


Concrete has been the primary material septic tanks are made from. One of the reasons for the prevalence of concrete is that the material is long-lasting, especially with the right maintenance. Because of the durability of concrete septic tanks, there is less of a risk that you will rupture the tank if you are working in your yard with heavy machinery.

Another upside of concrete is that this type of tank is approved in all 50 states. Depending on where you live, some of the other septic tanks may not be an option.

Plastic and Fiberglass

One of the downsides of concrete is that it is heavier than other materials. If for whatever reason your property will not support a concrete septic tank, you may be better off with a plastic or fiberglass tank. When the septic tank is lighter, it is less expensive to install. It will also be much less expensive to install your septic tank in a remote area.

Plastic tanks do not suffer from the same cracking and corrosion issues that concrete tanks face. These types are very watertight and corrosion-proof. For this reason, you will not have to worry as much about your septic waste contaminating your property. However, one of the downsides of plastic septic tanks being lighter than concrete is that they might float to the surface.


A relatively uncommon type of septic tank is the steel tank. Steel seems like it would be a very durable option; however, because they are susceptible to rust, they are only expected to last 20-25 years. You may purchase a home that comes with a steel septic tank, but when it is time to have it replaced you should consider a different type.

Because of the importance of a correct septic tank installation, you should hire a septic tank installation specialist rather than installing your septic tank on your own. A septic tank installation expert will help you decide which materials your septic tank should be made from. For more information, you can visit sites like