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Precast Concrete or Plastic Septic Tank, which is a Better Investment?

4 min read
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Durability, availability of products and concrete and plastic materials are all options worth looking into when looking at installing a septic tank. There are several options available to you when deciding which type of septic tank to have installed in your home. The most common options are either plastic or precast concrete, though you can also opt for fiberglass or steel. Of these two options, there are pros and cons to both. But many agree that a precast concrete septic tank is by far the best option. In fact, concrete tanks are required in many municipal districts because of this. This is because there are a number of reasons why a concrete tank outperforms the alternatives.

Structural Strength

Precast concrete provides the best strength of any tank. Besides removing fear of collapse when being pumped, concrete isn’t buoyant and removes the possibility of a tank “floating” in wet conditions. A concrete tank will stay were you put it.

This removes the need for cost- and labor-intensive anchoring procedures that are required for plastic and other types of septic tank. Being more than twice as heavy as a plastic tank, concrete provides the best structural strength for a septic system.

There’s also a high chance that at some point, soil conditions will change in the vicinity of the septic tank. Whether this is due to disturbances nearby or environmental or seasonal changes, the soil can be shifted, or its composition changed. A cement tank is much more resistant to damage caused by changing soil conditions.


Rust is another problem avoided by installing a concrete septic tank. Steel tanks, as well as many components of plastic or fiberglass tanks, are prone to rust. This causes them to fall apart over time – something you don’t want from a septic tank! A precast concrete tank, on the other hand, gradually strengthens over time as it settles into its location and its concrete casting hardens.


Installation of concrete tanks is simple and relatively easy. There aren’t any major drawbacks from having a concrete tank installed instead of a plastic one, as long as an experienced and professional contractor is hired to perform the installation.

With the proper equipment, installing a concrete tank is easy. After preparing the site and digging the proper location for the tank, it can be hoisted into place and securely installed. Plastic tanks are easily damaged during installation and backfilling, which will lead to leaks and problems later down the road. But a concrete tank has a much lower chance of getting damaged during installation.

Having a robust concrete septic tank also removes limitations on where it can be placed on a property. A plastic tank, on the other hand, can only be placed in locations where it isn’t in danger of being put under above-ground pressure, flooded, or damaged. A concrete tank, however, can easily be placed almost anywhere on a property.


Maintenance is a lot less for cement tanks than it is for plastic tanks. If a cement tank is properly installed and the septic system is running well, it can last for decades with hardly any maintenance required. A plastic tank, however, usually requires maintenance throughout the duration of its life.

As long as basic precautions are taken with a concrete septic tank – by keeping growing trees away from the area, making sure there aren’t leaks or excess usage in the house’s drainage system, and keeping the drainage area around the septic tank from becoming flooded by rainwater – the tank should last for many years (probably decades) with very little maintenance.

Plastic tanks are a lot more fragile and will likely require more maintenance such as fixing breaks, cleaning out an overflowing system, or removing blockages or encroachment from trees and rainwater.


Concrete is one of the most durable and reliable construction materials in use today. If constructed properly, it is one of the most watertight and weather resistant materials possible. Unlike other materials which deteriorate fairly quickly over time, concrete is resilient and only gets more tempered over time.

Concrete is also environmentally friendly. Made completely from natural ingredients, it does not pollute water systems or disturb natural groundwater systems. And unlike plastic, the process for producing raw concrete doesn’t create a large amount of pollution or waste.

So, if you’re considering which type of septic tank to install at your home, precast concrete is very likely the best option for you. It’s strong, durable, and easy to install. It outlasts other materials, is less susceptible to rust or damage, and is more environmentally friendly. Because of this, a concrete tank is probably the best option for your septic system.