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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > Septic Tank Cleaning

Septic Tank Cleaning Cost


How Much Does Septic Tank Cleaning Cost?

 
average costMedium: $75-$200; Running $300+high costFracturing the Soil: $1,000-$2,000+
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  Typical costs:
  • Dumping out a septic tank runs about $75-$200 but can be $300 and up in some parts of the country, and should be done every 1-3 years depending on the size of the tank and the number of people using it, according to Laundry-Alternative.com[1] .
  • Pumping out larger tanks (1,500-2,500 gallons) can cost $200-$350 or more.
  • Installing a high-quality filter to protect your leachfield/drainfield costs about $200-$300, according to officials in Olympia, Washington.
  • Sometimes a failing septic system can be resurrected by properly pumping the tank, cleaning the drainfield lines, installing filters and a process known as fracturing the soil, which involves inserting a hollow tube into the ground and injecting a 300-pound blast of air, at a cost of $1,000-$2,000 or more.
Related articles: Septic System, Sewer Line Replacement, Unclogging a Toilet

What should be included:
  • A septic system has two main components, a tank and a soil absorption system (drainfield/leachfield). The tank is designed to let heavy solids settle to the bottom, where bacteria decomposes the solids into sludge. Grease and other light particles float, forming scum. The amount of sludge and scum builds up over time. Pumping prevents them from flowing out of the septic tank and clogging the drainfield/leachfield.
  • The Maryland Cooperative Extension provides an illustrated explanation of how septic systems work and the Iowa Onsite Wastewater Program explains the need for regular tank pumping.
  • Note: Biological additives are unlikely to be harmful, but some chemical additives that are advertised as eliminating the need for tank pumping may actually damage the septic system.
  • Generally pumping out a septic tank takes around 4-5 hours of manual labor or about 2 hours with a backhoe or other equipment, according to Turtlesoft.com[2] . This includes finding the tank, digging out the access port (pumping should be done through the manhole, not the smaller inspection port), pumping out the tank (leaving nothing inside), checking for leaks, and then backfilling and re-grading the site.
  • Never enter a septic tank; they are extremely unsanitary and may contain deadly gases. Many states require septic tanks to be pumped out only by trained and licensed professionals.
Discounts:
  • Some companies charge a flat fee for locating the septic tank and digging down to the access port, while others charge for the actual hours worked. Depending on the time involved, you can save some money if you're willing to do the locating and digging yourself.
  • Tip: While the tank is uncovered, draw a map of its location in relationship to the house or take photos; this can be valuable for future pumping or other septic service.
Shopping for septic tank cleaning:
  • Check with your local health department to see if they maintain a list of licensed septic cleaning companies.
  • Ask about training and experience. Check that the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[3] ; and see if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[4] .
  • Referrals to septic service retailers and providers[5] are available through the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Septic Tank Pumping/1050 Gallon Tank
Amount: $275.00
Posted by: Lorraine in Gulf Breeze, FL.Posted: July 19th, 2013 04:07PM
Type: SepticCompany: O.C. Peaden
Excellent service. Very prompt. Came to pump out within 2 hrs after I called. Took them about 1 hour or less to do the job. Cleaned up, were polite and professional. Will use again.
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System pumped and pipe from home to tank replaced
Amount: $1,600.00
Posted by: jhuckmg25 in Cashiers, NC.Posted: May 22nd, 2013 04:05PM
Bought older home and original pipe had roots growing through it.
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Septic Tanking Pumping Costs for a $1,000 gallon pump out
Amount: $300.00
Posted by: Cindy Butler in Kingston, NH.Posted: July 23rd, 2012 02:07PM
Type: Company: Bob\\\'s Septic Service
I spent $300 on a pump out and it had been 4 years since my last one. Bob's is a good company! In my online search I did find prices for several septic companies in my area at http://www.septicshark.com/rnThanks,rnCindy
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Septic Tank Pumping for Home Sale
Amount: $625.00
Posted by: Nick001 in Gig Harbor, WA.Posted: November 14th, 2011 06:11PM
When a home with a septic is sold in our county it must have the tank (both the septic and pump tanks if it is pressure fed) pumped, and the system inspected. After 5 quotes the cost came out to over $600. This includes pumping both tanks (most quotes priced them separately), performing the inspection, and the filing fee for filing the inspection with the county. Then I have to pay $230 to the county for them to come out and look around and sign off on it. I'm half convinced that it is some big scam. The range of quotes from 5 companies totaled from $627-$652. I can't believe that 5 independent operations come up with prices within 4% of each other. The law forces us to do the pumping whether it needs it or not so we're help captive.
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Complaint
Amount: $180.00
Posted by: Shayraber in Tallahassee, .Posted: September 20th, 2011 05:09AM
Jim Harnage,
I hope that you got some help. The first thing I would do is call the County Health Department. This becomes a public health issue if they did not pump your septic tank out properly.
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Complaint
Amount: $180.00
Posted by: Jim Harnage in Valdosta, GA.Posted: May 9th, 2011 07:05AM
Type: Company: Milo
Is there a process through which I can complain about a company? The short of it is:
I called a company in March 2011. They had my authorization to pump septic without my being home.
I came home. Dirt was upset over tank so I assumed it was pumped.
Two days later septic is overflowing again. Assumed that it had not been sufficiently pumped.
Paid bill of $180.
Complained. Person came out. Said he would return and take a look why septic overflowed two days later.
Never returned.
Called repeatedly. Says he can't help us.
Wrote him.
Wrote again sent certified letter return sig nature requested.
No response.
I am disabled. Can't afford another $180.
The following is a statement on the company's web site home page at www.milosepticandtoilet.com.
Quote: We have the knowledge to provide you with prompt service and low prices. Don't ignore your septic problems, call us and we'll fix them!Unquote.
I've checked with other professionals in the industry and Milo has not performed the minimal accepted industry practices on my particular service trip. We have called repeatedly as well as written a certified letter return reciept requested asking for a return service or else refund our money again with no response therefore Milo's claim that if we call them they will fix it is false and misrepresentational. Our septic may already have been damaged and it could have been avoidable but for their negligence. At this point I prefer to have my money returned as I cannot expect Milo to represent my needs and their claims of good service now.
Thank you.
Jim Harnage
PLease help us. I don't have another $180 to call another company.

What are my options?
Thank you.
Jim Harnage
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Septic Tank Pumping/Cleaning/maintenance
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: MAM in Hampton, NH.Posted: December 30th, 2010 06:12AM
Type: SepticCompany: Wind River Environmental
Done with no hassle. Great Service.
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tank inspection contaiminatoin
Amount: $75.00
Posted by: Joseph B To in Houston, TX.Posted: October 26th, 2010 07:10AM
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External Resources:
  1.  www.laundry-alternative.com/
  2.  www.turtlesoft.com/Construction-Costs/Site-Preparation/Septic_Tank_Pumping.htm
  3.  www.contractors-license.org/
  4.  search.bbb.org/
  5.  www.nowra.org/
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