In this guide, you will learn about septic tanks, the way this system operates and the benefits it offers. Find a detailed description of the main types and a review of TOP 4 best septic tanks. If you still do not know which one to opt for, read about the main features you should look for when buying a product. If you have already decided to purchase a septic system, you might be breaking your head over its installation — whether you should save money and do it yourself or you should hire a company that will bring the system and install it. The guide deals with this dilemma as well so you will find the answers in the relevant section.

A lot of people who have lived most if not all of their lives connected to city sewage, may have something of a misconception when it comes to septic tanks. In their eyes, it’s just a vault in the ground that holds waste, and when it fills up, it must need to be pumped. While eventually, any septic system does have to be pumped, they’re actually quite a bit more complicated and sophisticated than one might expect.

When installed properly, septic tanks have a lot of benefits (especially financially), are quite safe, and many of the fears most would have, are actually unfounded. Today, we’re going to learn about how septic tanks work, the different types of them, the pros and cons of various implementations, and of course, we’re going to look at a few of the best models available right now.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

How Does a Septic Tank Work? Explaining The Technologies Behind

Some aspects of septic tanks can vary (mainly in building materials)but that’s entirely in how waste is processed and broken down, if at all. On a fundamental level, they all work the same way beyond this.

A septic system is a vault, usually buried between four to six feet down where possible. The main line runs from all of the house water, into the first of two chambers. On this line, before it meets the tank, will be a vertical pipe (the overflow), which is used to spot clogs or an over-full tank. Once the first chamber fills to a point, it will flow over into the second chamber. Once that chamber fills to a certain level, a baffle will cause the excess water to flow out into an array of perforated pipes.

These pipes leak the waste water back into the soil very slowly. This water is not harmful to soil, neither landscaping nor grass. In fact, as gross as this water is to us, it’s quite a cocktail to most plants, and after initially burying your tank, you may see grass growing faster along the surface above the pipes.

All septic tanks have some level of bacteria living in them. This is because the human digestive system contains various bacterial colonies, and some of that is carried by waste into the tank. Additives can encourage more prolific bacterial colonies, and direct additions of bacteria can be done as well.

These bacteria perform anaerobic digestion of the materials, breaking them down much further, which allows a large volume of what goes into the tank, to liquified and released via the dispersal pipes.

Eventually, since some solid matter does build up and not get processed, a tank will fill and have to be pumped – this is done by connecting to one of two caps atop the tank – but this shouldn’t need to be done very often, unless you have a very small tank compared to the volume of wastewater your house is outputting.

Water from showers, sinks and any non-solid waste in the toilet, generally doesn’t add much permanent volume to the tank’s contents, and is quickly dispersed by the cyclical overflow system itself.

Most septic tanks do not require power to operate, water weight/pressure driving a purely mechanical baffle to release water into the dispersal pipes. Some models do possess an electric pump – usually industrial/commercial models for large facilities. Aside from very special cases, this usually isn’t necessary.

However, a similar system, the aerobic treatment system (mistakenly called the aerobic septic tank in many cases), is much more complex, and does require a pump for dispersal. These systems are comprised of four chambers: the trash tank, the aerobic treatment unit, the disinfectant reservoir (much smaller than other chambers), and the pump tank whence dispersal lines originate.

The idea of aerobic systems is to mimic, on a small scale, the process done by sewage treatment plants, using forced air to break down waste faster. These systems are much more complex, and rely on power for pumps and aerators.

What Types Are There? Which One Is Better And More Advantageous?

There are basically three common materials for septic tanks – concrete, fiberglass or plastic/polymer. Each of these materials has its advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll take a look at them right now.

  • Concrete – Concrete is a much more durable material under normal conditions, significant damage having to occur before they leak and become ineffectual. However, these cracks can and will occur if the soil around the tank shifts enough to cause an imbalance of weight. Concrete is tough, but it’s technically “brittle”. It’s also susceptible to erosion (water wearing away a substance a tiny bit at a time), and water does move around in a septic tank.
  • Fiberglass – Fiberglass is not susceptible to erosion like concrete, it’s a cheaper material, it’s easier (and thus cheaper) to install, and it’s also less likely to develop stress points as quickly should soil shift. However, fiberglass doesn’t like wild temperature variations, and while below the frost line, temperatures are less extreme across seasons, fluctuations do happen.
  • Plastic/Poly – Plastic sounds like a flimsy material, because most of the plastics we encounter are intended to be cheap, disposable things. Plastics can actually be very thick, very durable materials. Unlike fiberglass, plastics mind temperature fluctuations much less, but they’re costlier. They’re not susceptible to erosion like concrete but are more susceptible to stress fractures, like cement.

Septic Vs. Aerobic Tanks – Which is Better?

We talked a little bit about aerobic treatment systems when we looked at how septic tanks actually work. But which is better? Honestly, that depends. Below, we’ll look at the pros and cons of both.

Septic Tank Pros

  • Most designs don’t require power (unless a pump tank is added).
  • There are only a couple places where a clog can occur – the line leading in, the baffle, or on the dispersal pipes. We’ll talk a little about this clogging problem shortly.
  • Being a relatively simple technology, there’s not a lot that can go wrong, and any septic treatment company can easily pump/repair any type of tank as a result.
  • They require much less of your yard to be torn up to install.

Septic Tank Cons

  • They do eventually fill up and have to be pumped, and that’s not cheap.
  • If they back up and overflow into your yard, or a major fracture causes it to leak, the aroma that results is something … special.
  • The baffle can become jammed up, requiring the cap on the second chamber to be dug up. Cleaning that baffle is not pleasant.

Aerobic System Pros

  • Active treatment system rarely needs to be pumped. 
  • It’s more environmentally sound.
  • It can handle a higher capacity of usage.
  • Modular design means if something fails structurally, only part of the array needs replaced or repaired.
  • Malfunction doesn’t immediately mean you can’t flush your toilet, there’s a bit of a buffer.

Aerobic System Cons

  • There are a lot more pipes to clog.
  • It requires power for the pump tank, and the aerator.
  • It’s more expensive.
  • It requires more space.
  • There remain some places where these aren’t approved for home use.
  • Plumbers and septic specialists aren’t guaranteed to be familiar with a given one of these systems at this point, versus septic tanks which all work basically the same. 

What To Look For When Buying?

While all actual septic system work more or less the same way, there are differences based on capacity, whether or not you’re looking for a pump chamber, and of course, the material they’re made of. Let’s look at these a little more closely.

  • Capacity – This is the biggest one. It is directly affected by how many people live in your house. For one or two people, a 500-gallon septic tank generally can go for five years, sometimes more, without needing to be pumped. However, for a home with three or more occupants, you’ll want to double that capacity to at least 1000 gallons, or you’ll be pumping it every couple year, and it can cost at least $300 each time you do this.
  • Material – This is dependent on your area and budget. If you live in a location with very firm soil, you needn’t worry about shifting causing stress points. If you live in an area without climate extremes, you needn’t worry too much about fiberglass’s disdain for thermal expansion. Of course, fiberglass and poly tend to be cheaper than concrete, on average.
  • Pump Tank – A lot of septic tanks don’t have these, and often, they’re not needed. However, as opposed to passive flow, this adds capacity to your tank and can mean it needs to be pumped less often. It’s also helpful if you live in an area where the soil’s less absorbent. The trade off is that usually, if the power goes out for prolonged periods, the entire thing will back up with enough use. 

My Personal Experience

Use the right pipe

I actually have two stories about septic tanks, which I feel need to be shared here. The first one, when I moved into this house a few years ago, I noticed that my tank was overflowing, when it’d been recently-installed by the previous owner. This should not happen, as the tank I have should support up to four occupants for upward of eight years without needing to be pumped. Given how expensive it is to have a septic tank pumped, I was, needless to say, not amused.

Well, as much as I hate working outside, and really hate anything involving digging or yard work, I decided to dig the entire thing up myself, to see if I could spot the problem, before spending all that money. Surely, something had to be wrong, if my tank was backing up that soon, with a single occupant!

Well, after two non-stop days of digging, with a shovel, in the Florida July heat, I did indeed see the problem. The dispersal lines weren’t perforated! This meant that the water couldn’t seep into the soil like it should, so all the water going into the tank had nowhere to go. I was, needless to say, baffled by this. So, I identified the pipe that had been used – plumbing pipe – and looked into it. It’s about half the price of proper septic line, but lacks the holes.

The idiots whom had installed the tank, had tried to cut corners, and in doing so, they made the septic tank basically inoperable. I was livid. Well, deciding to make the most of what I had, I took a power drill, and perforated the piping myself. Which took a whole other day.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t shower, nor could I use my toilets, wash dishes, or do anything sanitary until this problem was solved. I am glad I keep mostly to myself – I must have been one sweaty, cranky individual by day four of this project. Once I finally reburied it, and waited another 12 hours, my tank managed to drain and worked fine.

The lesson with this is, if you have someone install this for you, make darn sure they use the right pipe because you so do not want to go through the experience I did. If you install it yourself, use the right pipe from the beginning.

Put additives

The second story happened much more recently, in fact just this past Thursday. I noticed my toilets, when flushing, were causing water to back up out of the tub drains. That’s no good. I went and checked the overflow on my septic line, and sure enough, it seemed full. I thought, “oh no, I have to dig the baffle up and clean it. That’s going to be pleasant.”

But it was late in the evening, and I decided I’d wait overnight, and see if it went down – maybe it was just a minor clog. This did indeed seem to be the case as, the next day, everything drained just fine.

The problem, far as I can tell, was that my septic line makes a 90-degree turn, to couple with the first chamber of the actual tank. These L junctions can clog easily, especially if things like grease wind up going through there.

I’d recently had a friend visit for a few days, and she’d insisted on cooking for me while visiting. Given she’s a chef, who was I to say no? Well, she didn’t realize it was a bad idea to pour grease down my drains, and then this happened. Be careful with things like grease or other substances that congeal when they cool.

Put additives that prevent this sort of thing, through the lines regularly. You can add them at the overflow point, or by introducing them to the toilet tanks. These help break down clogs like this.

I can’t begin to express how relieved I was that it was just a little clog. Pumping a septic tank is expensive, and it’s an ordeal. You have to dig the caps up, you have to endure foul smells and loud noises, and of course, your neighbors see this going on.

TOP-4 Best Septic Tanks

Below, you will find a review of septic tanks of the most trusted brands, with the most expensive one being about $4000 while the budget choice will cost you a little more than $500. Their main difference is in a capacity and the number of chambers. However, design is essential as well but it is not necessarily indicative of the model’s functionality. It can be unattractive but very effective. Each model has its own advantages: items with a single cap are easy to pump while lightweight products are easy to carry and move around.

High-Capacity Septic Tank | Norwesco

High-Capacity Septic Tank: photo

This is a standard two-compartment septic tank that operates the way we described earlier. Poly materials like this are resistant to soil acidity, and require no heavy equipment to place because they’re not that heavy when empty. This one weighs a little over 300 pounds, which means two or three reasonably strong people could move and place it without too awful much of a problem.

This is designed for higher occupancy, and is about the capacity of my tank, though mine’s fiberglass. Under normal circumstances, I’d say the bright yellow would be an odd choice, but honestly, you’re never supposed to see this thing, and it does make it easy to tell you’ve reached it while digging. 

Features 

  • Material: Poly.
  • Capacity: 1000 gal.
  • Chambers: 2.
  • Pump Tank: No.
  • System: Standard septic.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Performance

Aside from material, this is very, very similar to my septic tank, and aside from the couple little issues I described a moment ago (neither of which were the tank’s fault), I’ve had no real problems with it.

Poly materials like this do have their advantages, being durable and resistant to soil chemistry, thermal expansion, and the nasty witch’s brew of biochemicals that occur inside the tank. This one, at 1000 gallons, can support a large family, even if they’re very regular, and also love to take long showers.

A three-year warranty is a pretty good product backing as well, and if any structural or technical issues are going to arise with this kind of simple system, they’re most likely to happen within that time frame (much sooner than 3 years really).

Pros Cons
  • The simple design means it’s easy to diagnose potential problems if it seems to be acting up.
  • Poly is expensive but makes for a very durable substance, the only real danger is major soil shifting could cause stress points if the tank is full. Nothing is indestructible. 
  • 1000 gallon capacity means a large family can use this for several years without needing to pump it – a single person or a couple with no children, could use this for probably close to a decade without needing to pump it, at least in theory. 
  • It’s lightweight enough that a few strong people could place it without heavy equipment. 
  • It’s pretty reasonably-priced considering it’s poly.
  • Not available in some areas. 
  • Must be placed perfectly level to work, which is a catch with dual-chamber tanks like this. 
  • Poly does tend to trap heat, which can result in a lot more gas buildup if you live in a hot climate like, say, Florida. 
  • If something damages the structure, you can’t really “fix” it.

Conclusion 

I’ve never had a poly septic tank, but I understand the chemistry and engineering behind the material. It’s not susceptible to most of the dangers that can befall fiberglass or cement, though it can develop stress points if it’s rather full and the soil decides to settle or shift dramatically.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend this tank for people who want to spend money now, on a high-capacity tank, rather than spend money often, to have to empty the tank every 5 years. I also recommend this for large families, for obvious reasons.

Norwesco 1,000-Gal: Check the current price

Septic Tank With Simple Design | Norwesco 

Septic Tank With Simple Design: photo

This is similar to the previous Norwesco, also being a poly tank, with the same ribbed design for integrity and soil grip. It’s only half the previous one’s capacity, and the last place I lived actually had a tank similar to this, albeit fiberglass.

Single chamber septic tanks do work fine, though they’re much less common than the dual-chamber ones nowadays. They can have their baffle jam more easily due to that barrier not slowing down the pressure and onslaught of sludge, but this isn’t as frequent a problem as one might expect.

You know you’re getting a quality tank when you go with Norwesco, so if you want a lower-capacity, single-chamber tank, at least it’s going to be a good one.

Features

  • Material: Poly. 
  • Capacity: 500 gal.
  • Chambers: 1.
  • Pump Tank: No.
  • System: Standard septic.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years.

Performance

Alright, as I said in the technology section, most tanks tend to be dual-chamber anymore. However, single-chamber tanks aren’t extinct and tend to be cheaper for obvious reasons.

They can have problems, with baffles getting gummed up, and excess water usage possibly overwhelming some of them. This isn’t often the case with Norwesco designs, though. They’ve put a lot of engineering into their tanks, so while they seem like simple technology – and in many ways they are – they’ve solved most of the problems single-chamber tanks used to consistently experience.

This is a lower-capacity tank than the previous model, which means occupancy of three or fewer people will likely have to pump this one once every five or six years, single occupancy will probably get you six or seven. But, with smaller single chamber tanks, pumping will be a “frequent” thing.

Pros Cons
  • Very affordable, considering the material used.
  • Single-chamber, while potentially problematic in some designs, does make for an easier tank to diagnose if problems occur. It also means that additives are evenly distributed, which in a two-chamber tank, doesn’t always happen. 
  • This one is very lightweight, at 163.5lbs, meaning you definitely don’t need heavy equipment to install it. Heck, I could lift this thing by myself, though my back would surely chastise me the next day. 
  • Three year warranties are nice, and they’re not half-hearted when it comes to septic tanks. 
  • The single cap makes it easy to pump this when the time does come – and no tank can get away with never being pumped.
  • Single chamber septic tanks can have issues with overwhelming the baffle.
  • Poly, while strong, can’t be fixed if a stress point does occur. 
  • Lower capacity means more frequent pumping.

Conclusion 

When it comes to a septic tank, you’re going to spend money in one direction or the other, all things said and done. Either you will put up a lot of money initially, for a high-capacity tank, or you’ll spend a few hundred dollars every 5-7 years, to have it pumped.

Depending on your situation, one of these may be a more viable thing than another. If you have a smaller house, and a few hundred dollars every few years to pump it isn’t as big a problem as a huge initial purchase, I am comfortable recommending this tank. If you have a large family, I really don’t suggest any tank of this capacity – at least 1000 gallons is necessary in that case.

Norwesco 500-Gal: Check the current price

Poly Septic Tank With Unique Design | Snyder's

Poly Septic Tank With Unique Design: photo

This looks like a landmine, or one of the prototype nuclear bombs from the 1940s, rather than a septic tank. But, strange appearances can be deceiving, and this geodesic design has some merits to it.

Snyder’s is another trusted name in septic technology, and this unique engineering means the single-chamber nature of this tank is less problematic than it once would have been, not unlike the previous two models we talked about.

The compact volume of the tank is intended to take up less room, be easily placed without heavy equipment, and remain structurally sound, even if the soil dramatically shifts or settles.

Features

  • Material: Poly.
  • Capacity: 500 gal.
  • Chambers: 1.
  • Pump Tank: No.
  • System: Standard septic.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years (limited).

Performance

This tank is the epitome of appearances being deceiving. It looks, at first sight, like this thing wouldn’t work very well. But this spherical design has a lot of merits to it. Any engineer will vouch for arched and spherical shapes being very strong, which means this one overcomes the one big risk of poly, potentially stressing when the tank is full and the soil shifts.

It’s very, very lightweight at under two hundred pounds, meaning at most, you need two reasonably strong people to move this thing into place. It’s very easy to hook up too, making this probably one of the best DIY installation tanks you can buy. It has the potential issues of any single-chamber tank, though, and it’s somewhat low capacity, meaning that you’ll have to empty it more often.

Pros Cons
  • Very affordable, considering the material used.
  • Single-chamber, while potentially problematic in some designs, does make for an easier tank to diagnose if problems occur. It also means that additives are evenly distributed, which in a two-chamber tank, doesn’t always happen. 
  • This tank is intended for DIY installation, which while not discouraged by other tanks, isn’t a goal with most designs. This thing weighs very little, it’s easy to carry, and it’s easy to get it nice and level, without sophisticated equipment to get the job done. 
  • Spherical design adds integrity and prevents problems with soil shifting that other tanks may have. This shape also gets more value out of the capacity. 
  • The single cap makes it easy to pump this when the time does come – and no tank can get away with never being pumped. 
  • Cap is very large, easy to hook up to, making this one easier to pump than some others.
  • Single chamber septic tanks can have issues with overwhelming the baffle.
  • Poly, while strong, can’t be fixed if a stress point does occur. 
  • Lower capacity means more frequent pumping. 
  • A three-year warranty is limited with this one, meaning that if problems do arise, you’ll have a bit more of a headache than with some other systems out there.

Conclusion 

I was skeptical of this tank when I first looked into it. It seemed kind of preposterous to me that a spherical design like this was feasible for passive water flow. But, the math does check out on this, and I’ve confirmed it with friends in the engineering field.

You’ll probably get an extra year out of this one’s five hundred-gallon capacity due to the way the volume is used. If you’re aiming to install a septic tank yourself, then this is probably the one to go with, if you don’t mind a reduced capacity.

However, I don’t feel like I could recommend this to large families, or people spending the additional money to have a contractor install a tank. These smaller-capacity, easily-handled tanks are at their best value when saving you trouble in a DIY project.

Snyder's: Check the current price

Compact Aerobic Tank | Norweco

Compact Aerobic Tank: photo

This is the only aerobic design we’re looking at today because it does eliminate some of the problems that aerobic systems can otherwise have. Being from Norweco, you can expect some of the kinks to be ironed out of a system like this before they’re happy selling it to anyone.

This one contains three basic chambers – a sludge/trash tank, the aerobic treatment tank, and the pump tank. Theoretically, this is a very efficient way to handle disposing of unpleasant waste, and it shouldn’t need to be pumped very often at all, though the sludge chamber will eventually need to be addressed.

This is an all-in-one unit, which has its merits, as well. This does bring about a couple of issues though, which we’ll touch on in a minute.
This unit is definitely not cheap.

Features

  • Material: Poly.
  • Capacity: 500 gal.
  • Chambers: 1.
  • Pump Tank: No.
  • System: Standard septic.
  • Manufacturer Warranty: 3 years (limited).

Performance

I was, and to a small extent remain, skeptical of these aerobic systems. The science behind them is sound, but when it comes to things around the house, Murphy’s law loves to make itself known with great efficacy.

However, leave it to Norweco to make this as problem-free as possible. However, I see a couple potential issues with this concept. The linkage pipes between the chambers, should one of them clog, would be a nightmare to fix, requiring a snake and possibly even some kind of endoscope.

There is also machinery present, meaning that the aerator or the pump could malfunction. These aren’t impossible to fix but count on it not being cheap to do so.

That all said, this is the most impressive implementation of aerobic treatment I’ve seen and were I going to go with this sort of system, this is probably the unit I’d choose.

Pros Cons
  • This kind of technology doesn’t need to be pumped nearly as often as a traditional septic tank, due to its higher efficiency at destroying solid waste and returning it to the groundwater table.
  • This is a solid unit, where fewer things can go wrong than with a lot of aerobic systems that’re entirely modular. 
  • Norweco is a trusted name in this sort of thing, so you know you’re getting a quality product, with the best engineering standards possible. 
  • While expensive, in the long run, you save money on the reduced pumping. 
  • Repairs, in some cases, are more possible with this than with a traditional septic system.
  • This technology depends heavily on the presence of power to run the aerator and the pump. If the power goes out for a prolonged amount of time, it will back up badly and may be damaged as a result.
  • If the connecting pipes clog, good luck unclogging them. 
  • When the time comes to pump this, not every pumper will be familiar with it. 
  • If components fail, they may be very expensive to replace.

Conclusion 

I feel like this is something for the more adventurous, because it’s rather expensive, and there’s a lot that can go wrong with a system this intricate. However, if you live in an area where power outages are rare and short-lived, and you can confirm that replacement components for this unit are within your budget at some point (all electric motors go bad), then this may be something worth looking into.

I find myself reticent to try technologies like this with my luck, but I’m ok with recommending this to people who have the right conditions where such a concept doesn’t face a lot of potential for problems. I see this technology getting better, too.

Norwesco Aerobic Tank: Check the current price

Comparative Chart Of Best Septic Tanks

Product Features

Norwesco 1,000-Gal

High-Capacity Septic Tank min: photo

Made of poly material. Has a capacity if 1000 gallons and 2 chambers. Standard septic system. Comes with a 3-year warranty.

Norwesco 500-Gal

Septic Tank With Simple Design min: photo

Made of poly material. Has a capacity if 500 gallons and 1 chamber. Standard septic system. Comes with a 3-year warranty.

Snyder's

Poly Septic Tank With Unique Design min: photo

Made of poly material. Has a capacity if 500 gallons and 1 chamber. Standard septic system. Comes with a 3-year warranty.

Norwesco Aerobic Tank

Compact Aerobic Tank min: photo

Made of poly material. Has a capacity if 500 gallons and 1 chamber. Standard septic system. Comes with a 3-year warranty.

What Is More Profitable: To Install A Septic Tank Yourself Or Hire A Full-Service Company?

This really depends on how you define value. If you quantify your own time and physical labor fairly equivalently with your money, then having a professional service come in and install it is going to be the better option.

However, if you’ve got the physical prowess to dig the trenches and pit for a septic tank, and you have the time, you will save money – that is in theory. The thing is, if you do this wrong, it’s going to cost you a lot more both financially and in stress/frustration in the long run, as my having to fix the screw ups with mine can attest.

If you’re sure you know what you’re doing, you can and will save a lot of money by doing this yourself. I personally consider not having to do heavy manual labor as a positive value, and if you’re of a similar mind, you’ll consider the added cost of having someone else do all of this back-breaking work, to be worth it.

Labor Costs For Installing

The cost for installing a septic tank can vary highly, depending on your area (cost of living drives everything up), and the size of the septic tank, etc. If heavy equipment is necessary, that also drives the cost up, because it costs money to requisition and operate such things.

A typical range for septic tank installation runs between $3,099 - $9,026. However, lower-end installations can be as cheap as $465, with really high-end jobs being as much as $15,000. It’s not cheap, needless to say.

FAQ

Can septic tank freeze?
Technically, yes they can. However, in areas where freezing weather occurs, burying them below the frost line, where it doesn’t get that cold, solves this problem. The water in a septic tank freezes at considerably colder temperatures than clean water, as well.

Will it smell in the house?
No, not at all. Plumbing is designed so that the gases of septic tanks cannot escape back up through the toilet and drains.

Will device work without power?
Most will, yes. However, if there’s a pump chamber added onto it, then no.

Can it fill with rainwater?
If it’s installed properly and functioning as it should, then no. If it does fill with rainwater, it has bigger problems.

Are septic tank fumes dangerous?
They can be, yes. For one, they’re noxious for obvious reasons, meaning dizziness and nausea are very possible. They also could carry pathogens and bacterial infections. Significant levels of methane, which can happen, are also volatile.

How should I treat it?
Various bacterial enhancers and chemicals can be used to make the digestion of the waste more effective.

Are septic tank additives effective?
Many are, yes. Go with trusted brands.

Conclusion

Septic tank technology is, for the most part, at a bit of a plateau. You can only design a waste holding/dispersal system in so many ways. Aerobic systems have come a long way, and I do see these being more powerful in the future, with smaller, more compact units, or a secondary, able-to-be-bypassed system to add to septic tanks. I see this being the way this is handled in the near future.

The other advance I anticipate, either from bio-engineering or the burgeoning nanotech sector, is a better “critter” to put in the tank, to break down waste at an almost 100% efficiency. This is being worked on, but I can’t predict when it’ll be viable for consumer use just yet.

Either way, for now, what we’ve shown you are the most advanced, and practical systems on the market, and I’m positive you’ll find one that’s right for you. Remember, while no tank is “cheap”, and pumping is a semi-reoccurring expense, remember how much cheaper it still is, than paying monthly sewage bills!