Why You Should Convert Your Old Septic Tank To A Cistern

Posted on: 11 March 2015


Whether you're a homeowner that's connected to a municipal waste system or one that's recently bought a house with an unused septic tank on the property, you may want to consider putting your old tank to good use. Septic tanks are an ideal reservoir for storm water, acting like a cistern to give you a source of non-potable water ideal for plants and outdoor use. So instead of simply decommissioning your old septic tank, removing it, or having it filled in, you should know why you should convert your old system.

You Have The Perfect Container

Even small septic tanks can hold hundreds of gallons of water, and large ones are enough to get you through extreme drought periods without sweating a water bill. So converting your old septic tank is a smart way to make use of a perfect container for groundwater. Septic tanks that are either anaerobic, with several chambers, or aerobic, with one, can provide you with clean, easy-to-access water that you can use to maintain a healthy and green lawn or garden. 

Professional Cleaning Can Give Your Tank New Life

Though the idea of converting your septic tank to a cistern may seem scary, even concrete vessels can be professionally pumped and cleaned to yield an adequate holding vessel. Pumping and cleaning costs depend on your location and the size of your tank, but will generally run anywhere from $200 to $700 for a one-time service call. If you don't know the exact location of your septic tank or want your tank to be inspected during the cleaning, you may be charged slightly more for the service call.

You'll Save Money

Converting your old tank to a new one can be a great do-it-yourself project if you're savvy with installing the pump system that's needed to operate a new cistern. You'll also have to apply for an abandonment permit and lab test before you start the conversion, so that your new cistern abides by the Department of Health's code requirements. But beyond these affordable and easy first steps, connecting your new cistern to a roof gutter is the only thing that stops you from utilizing a free source of water year-round.

When you put your old septic tank to use again, you help to eliminate excess water usage from potable sources that can quickly become depleted during summer months or with excessive landscaping needs. And taking advantage of rainwater collection with your old septic tank is not only cost-effective for landscaping, washing equipment outdoors, or pressure washing, but it saves money over time on waste water bills. For further assistance, contact professionals, such as those from The Outhouse.