Whether you've always used a septic system or had access to a public sewer, you likely have questions if switching from one to the other whether moving to a house without public sewer access or having a new public sewer system built to service your area. The difference as it affects your daily life is essentially nonexistent, other than as you realize you're responsible for maintenance on the septic system you'll likely be more careful about what you allow to go down the drain with the wastewater. There are a few differences you should be aware of when switching from one to the other.
Septic System Nuances and Specifics
The most noticeable difference between the two systems is septic requires more maintenance on the part of the building owner than a sewer system generally needs. The septic system is usually designed with the expectation it will be pumped and cleaned every few years as part of its continued function. With care, the maintenance can be postponed by not allowing anything other than wastewater to enter the system. A larger or more efficient initial design may cost a little more during installation or replacement but will reduce the costs and inconveniences of maintenance projects over time. Utilizing a system which exceeds code requirements is going to pay for itself in the future.
Sewer Systems Don't End Your Responsibility as a Homeowner
Sewer systems mitigate your responsibilities as a homeowner but don't end them completely. Sewer systems rarely malfunction, but the pipes leading from the house to the main system are the homeowner's responsibility, and that's usually where problems may occur. You're also responsible for knowing where the sewer system runs through your yard and may be held accountable if you break them by digging or allowing a tree to be placed too close. There is also a bill for wastewater to cover the public expense of running the sewer system and local water treatment plant.
Although you may have a personal preference, neither system is inherently better than the other. They each have advantages based on how you'd rather be billed and conduct maintenance for your property. Whichever system you choose or have to use based on location, you'll need a great septic and sewer maintenance contractor to assure you don't have problems with wastewater backup or overflow over the years.