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There is also an online information source at Cornell University, but I
don't have the link here even though I work more closely with their
people and information packets. I'm sure a search by google would come
up with 100,000 Cornell hits. You might just try www.cornell.edu and
then search from there. They are the New York State extension service
host organization, so the information should be easy to locate.
[This message has been edited by rpxlpx (edited July 16, 2002).]
Unless you have a homemade septic tank made of barrels, plywood, etc., I can't see why you'd need to replace it.
Commercial septic tanks are normally constructed of either concrete or some type of plastic and unless the tank has somehow been cracked and is leaking there'd be no need to replace it.
Depending on use, tanks do need to be pumped after a certain number of years because the solid matter that sinks to the bottom finally builds too high. This is normal.
Drain fields occasionally need to be dug out and rebuilt because they eventually sludge up and cease to percolate.
But I'd be highly suspicious of anyone telling me I had to replace the tank itself and I'd make them show me why.
Sounds to me like someone trying to sell you a brand new -- and very expensive -- septic system.