Most homeowners who use a septic tank for their human waste and water from showers, dishwashers, washing machines, etc. do so because they don’t have a choice – they live too far from the sewer line to make the cost affordable (either for them or for their municipality) to be “hooked up” to the sewer system.

Still, whether you have a choice or not, it’s still wise to understand the difference between having a home on a sewer line or using a septic tank.

Read below for some information on the pros and cons of a private septic system from an environmental perspective.

Septic Systems Are The Sole Responsibility Of The Homeowners

Once people understand that a septic system is pretty much their responsibility alone, most homeowners will say they’d prefer to be on a sewer line. After all, if something happens to the line, it’s the city’s/town’s responsibility to fix it. (If one’s septic system goes on the fritz, or once it fills with waste, it’s up to the homeowner to see that it’s fixed/emptied, at the homeowner’s expense.)

sewer plumbing

Looks clean and bright – until the sewer line or septic system backs up!

A sewer system also (usually) can take it when a lot of rain comes down at once. They also can handle storm surges, natural phenomena that often can take down a home-maintained septic tank.

What’s more, should a septic tank overflow, it can leach its contaminants into local groundwater, even creeks, streams, and lakes.

This is not to say that all septic systems are an environmental hazard just waiting to happen: when a septic system large enough to accommodate the waste created by the household that uses it is installed professionally and properly, it’s a safe and sanitary way to treat a home’s human waste.

Still, the homeowner needs to make sure the septic system is maintained properly. If not, pipes could become blocked with sewage, resulting in nasty sewage back up into the home.

There Is Homeowner Liability With A Sewer Line

But homeowners on a city’s sewer line aren’t completely off the hook: a homeowner with a residence that hooks up to a sewer line is responsible for the line that brings water/waste into, out of, and throughout the home. This means that should a problem arise in this service line, you as the homeowner are responsible for sewer line repair and maintenance.

Sewer line homeowners also have routine water and sewage fees to pay; a septic system homeowner does not.

Plumbing Dynamics Can Help With Septic Tank and Sewer Line Issues

If you’re a homeowner on a septic system and you feel it’s time to empty it, or if your sewer line needs to be repaired, contact Plumbing Dynamics today using our online contact form.