A Guide to Installing a Septic Tank

If you’re completing a house build or renovation, it is fair to say that a septic tank isn’t at the top of the list of tasks you’re looking forward to completing. But if you are, you want to know everything involved with installing a septic tank. If access to a public sewer is impossible, then using a septic system is the way to go. 

Photo of a beautiful backyard and nice home too

By using a septic tank, you have an effective method to deal with wastewater and sewage. Every home does. Due to the essential nature of a septic tank, it is imperative its build and installation are done correctly.

To ensure it operates trouble-free on a long-term basis, this guide will feature the steps to follow when installing a septic tank. 

Septic system design

The start of the process begins with the septic system design. The septic system features two main elements. These are the tank and percolation area—also known as the discharge area. The design of the septic system is down to various elements. First, how many individuals will live on the property. Next, think about soil conditions. 

Of course, you don’t necessarily want to design a septic system on your own. If you hire professionals for the job, they’ll understand what to do. If you’re going to be installing a septic tank, you’ll need some expert advice before you begin. 

Also, as you think about where the septic tank and the lateral lines will live, consider putting them farther away from your primary outdoor space. Even further, think about where you might be planting new trees or installing a new garden at this stage in the process.

Picking the right septic tank 

Once the design has been approved, you need to select the right septic tank for the job. In general, there are two septic tank options available: concrete or plastic. 

As you would expect from the material used, a concrete tank is known for being very strong and durable. However, installing a septic tank can be tricky due to the need for a truck-mounted crane. Along with being heavy, the lids of a concrete tank are typically placed on the tank following installation—which can result in leaks due to poorly sealed joints. 

These days, most installed septic tanks are made from reinforced plastic. This is for good reason. Not only are these plastic septic tanks as strong as the concrete alternative, but they are also manufactured as a single piece. This means there’s no chance of leaks happening. 

The installation 

As with the build of the septic tank, there are again two choices when it comes to the installation: do it yourself or hire a professional installation company. 

If you decide to go it alone, this will generally be a much more cost-effective route; but you need to ensure all building regulations are met with your drainage works. If you have any doubts about doing it yourself, you can be assured a reputable septic tank installation company will do the job professionally and on time. 


During the installation, you have to pay attention to the future maintenance of the septic tank. For a start, any tank lids shouldn’t be covered with soil. Access is required for inspections and septic tank emptying.

In addition, the tank should sit within 30 meters of the property’s driveway. The reason for this is that companies that empty septic tanks usually only have hoses that stretch 30 meters to make cleaning or emptying the tank an easier process. 

Tre Pryor, Realtor

Tre Pryor is the leading real estate expert in the city of Louisville. He is a multi-million dollar producer and consistently ranks in the top 1% of Louisville Realtors for homes sold. Tre Pryor has the highest possible rating—5.0 stars on Google—by his clients and is routinely interviewed by the local NBC news. Tre Pryor is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame.