In Septic Knowledge Center

Can a septic tank be too big?

If you’ve just purchased a new home or are thinking of building, there are a lot of things to consider and learn about your new home. There’s lawn maintenance, roof maintenance, etc. But, if you have a septic tank or are considering adding one to your home, make sure you are getting one that is the right size. Don’t always go big. So, can a septic tank be too big?

Yes, a septic tank too big for your home is possible. If a septic tank is too large, it will not run as it should. In tanks that are too large, there won’t be enough liquid to produce the required amount of bacteria to break down solids in the tank.

To understand this better, it’s best to know how the typical septic system works.

  1. Water enters the septic tank

Water from your home runs out of the drainage pipe, and the wastewater enters the septic system. The solids in the septic tank eventually float to the bottom, and the oil and grease float to the top.

  1. Wastewater exits

The tank is usually built so the grease, oil, and solids can’t escape from the tank as-is, but the wastewater can. The wastewater leaves the tank through piping and enters the drain field. The drain field consists of an excavated, shallow, covered area with unsaturated soil. This soil removes harmful bacteria and viruses, absorbs nutrients, and disperses water as it moves through the soil. The water then becomes groundwater.

So if you don’t have enough wastewater for the size of your septic tank, it is impossible for wastewater to flow and for enough bacteria to grow to break down the materials in the tank.

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How to determine the correct size for a septic tank

  1. Water usage

In most areas of the United States, the minimum tank size is 1,000 gallons, but the size of the septic tank you need can really vary based on your water usage. If you calculate how many gallons of water you use per day, you can determine the recommended septic tank sizes. For example, if you use less than 500 gallons of water per day, you may only need a 900 gallons tank. If you use anywhere from 900 to 1,250 gallons per day, you will need a tank between 1,500 and 1,900 gallons.

  1. Property size

Septic tank size can also usually be estimated by the size of your property. You don’t want a septic tank be too big. Larger homes will need larger tanks. For example, a 1,500-square-foot home may only need a 750-gallon tank, whereas a 2,500-square-foot home may need a tank larger than 1,250-gallons.

It can be challenging to decide what size septic tank to use for your house. When in doubt, get a professional to help. Thankfully you are already on the right website. Martin Septic is the largest and most trusted septic system company is Southwest Florida. We can help you with routine maintenance, complete rebuilds, new construction and specialty locations, like barrier islands. If you are new to septic systems and you have questions, please reach out to us. You can complete our online form or you can call our office during business hours.

We look forward to working with you and helping to keep your home functioning as it should! Thank you for allow us to answer the question, can a septic tank be too big? If you would like to learn more about septic systems, what kind of maintenance you should plan on, check out our blogs. We have lots of articles to help keep you and your family safe.

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