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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Plumbing & Waterproofing > Septic System

Septic System Cost

How Much Does a Septic System Cost?

average costMedium: Averages $2,000-$5,000; Runs $4,000-$12,000 in Higher Cost Areashigh costEnhanced System: $10,000-$20,000+
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For homes that aren't connected to a municipal sewer plant, a septic is an on-site system that collects, treats and disposes of household wastewater by slowly filtering it through underground soil. Typically there are two main parts, a septic tank and a soil absorption system (also called a drainfield, leachfield or disposal field). These are located underground and connected to the house by sewage pipes.

Typical costs:

  • Installing/replacing a conventional septic system[1] (including the tank) averages $2,000-$5,000 in the Midwest, but can be $4,000-$12,000 or more in areas where materials and labor rates are higher.
  • Enhanced, engineered or alternative septic systems that use mounds[2] , sand/peat filters[3] , aerobic systems and/or constructed wetlands[4] can cost $10,000-$20,000 or more, according to the Rhode Island Regional Water Quality Program[5] .
  • These alternative septic systems work better than the conventional approach for sites with high groundwater or slowly/rapidly percolating soil, or near drinking water supplies, wetlands, coastal ponds or other water resources.
  • The cost of a septic tank alone runs about $500-$1,800 depending on size (ranging from 300-1,000 gallons) and type. Piping and other needed items adds another $100-$200 to the total cost of materials.
  • New Mexico State University provides an introduction to installing a septic tank[6] . However, many regions require a septic system to be designed and installed by trained and licensed professionals; contact your local or state sanitation department for details.
Related articles: Septic Tank Cleaning, Sewer Line Replacement, Replacing Copper Pipes

What should be included:
  • Septic systems are used when sewage treatment plants are not accessible, which usually means rural or suburban homes on large lots. The septic tanks itself is a large, underground, watertight container made of concrete, fiberglass or plastic (polyethylene).
  • The North Carolina State University Ag Extension explains how septic systems work and where they can be used[7] .
  • It can take several days to a week or more to install/replace a septic system. The process involves extensive digging, often with heavy earth-moving equipment.
Additional costs:
  • Most counties and states require a building permit for installing or replacing a septic system, at a cost of $250-$1,000 or more depending on the location and the complexity of the project. Check with your local building/planning department for details.
  • Installing a septic system usually involves extensive digging and damage to the landscaping; replacement turf and other plantings can run $100-$1,000 or more.
  • In a cluster septic system, each house has its own underground septic tank but they all feed into one drainfield/leachfield/soil absorption system. Typically installed by developers, a cluster septic system splits the cost of the drainfield installation and maintenance among many houses.
Shopping for a septic system:
  • Check with your local sanitation department to see if they maintain a list of licensed septic installation contractors.
  • Referrals to septic contractors[8] are available through the National Onsite Wastewater Recycling Association.
  • Ask about training and experience. Check that the company is properly bonded, insured and licensed in your state[9] ; and see if there are any complaints with the Better Business Bureau[10] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
rehabilitating a septic system
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Unclebob in McArthur, CA.Posted: January 26th, 2019 09:01AM
Type: Trailer park
I fought septic tank, leach field problems for years. this is a trailer park, with 35 trailers going into a 7500 gallon tank with 1000 feet in length of leach field. The killer was cooking oil and grease. Plugged up the leach field. Educating the tenants made a huge difference. Then I found the magical cheap combination that worked much better than those expensive enzymes.
Equal parts, Yeast, Brown Sugar, and Baking soda. I mix a pound of each and flush it down a toilet every couple of months. My Pumpings have gone from every 6 months to every 3 years, and it is not as bad at 3 years as it used to be at 6 months. Sams club and Costco sell it in bulk cheap.
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need a single septic tank drain line installed
Amount: $3,200.00
Posted by: a user in moreland, GA.Posted: July 20th, 2018 12:07AM
That seems like a lot of money for s single drain line
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3 Bedroom House
Amount: $5,000.00
Posted by: Sfr Development LLC in Boone, NC.Posted: August 11th, 2017 12:08PM
Type: Conventional 2 Foot Chambers
1000 gallon tank. In Mountains Boone NC. Have 30 inches to 48 inches of soil. 3 - 60 Feet 2 foot chamber lines
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need septic system for 900 sq ft house- 1 bath and a kitchen-starter home.
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: rrrr in berlin, NJ.Posted: July 12th, 2017 02:07PM
Type: septic
location-south jersey-sandy soil
approx cost please? looking for economy and conformity.
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Spec House
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Any Help Appreciated in Charleston, SC.Posted: May 12th, 2017 08:05AM
Getting ready to purchase a piece of land that requires a septic system in order to build. From soup to nuts, (permits, materials, installation) what should I be looking at for total cost?
This house will be built very close to water
(Charleston, SC less than .5 miles)
How long does the process typically take?
Any and all help truly appreciated
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Perc testing and septic systems in North Virginia and Maryland
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Ken Carbaugh in Leesburg, VA.Posted: June 20th, 2016 06:06PM
Type: conventional to alternative systems
A perc or perk test in Northern Va from a licensed consultant will cost between 1200-2500 dollars depending the district and county fees. Fairfax County costs are 2-4x as much due to local health dept bureaucracy and redtape requiring a surveyor and engineer to be used for any certification or permitting. Real costs of conventional systems (3-4 bedrooms) are from 14-25k depending on the soil percolation results and whether or not a pump is required. If the system is an alternative (BAT in MD) the design costs add 1000-2500 in costs and the installation of the specialized equipment adds costs that can total 20-35,000 easily. Some above grade sand or drip systems will cost as much as $45,000 in areas with expectional poor soils. Your property is the most valuable asset you will own so be careful with the land you contract to purchase and beware not all property is equal in value for development.
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New conventional septic system/leach field
Amount: $5,500.00
Posted by: Bob42 in High rolls, NM.Posted: March 25th, 2016 12:03PM
Type: Concrete tank, leachfield
$5500 was the total cost for everything including permits and inspection certificate, tank, pipes, new leachfield etc. I live rurally in a mountainous region with sloping land so more work was required to remediate the land for the leach field to be level. Took about a week from contract signing to completion.
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leach field treatment
Amount: $1,150.00
Posted by: Susana in cumming, GA.Posted: August 24th, 2015 04:08PM
Type: treating the leach field
I had a septic company come to do a septic tank pump for $150 but they said I needed a more expensive leach field treatment at a cost of over $2500 even thought there is no back up or smell anywhere. They wind up doing an enxyme one leaving me with 6 gallons of liquid enzyme I am suppose to pour down the toiled once a month. My son says I was ripped off. Is he right?
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Pocono Pump and electric line replacement
Amount: $2,010.00
Posted by: payed too much? in Effort, PA.Posted: August 2nd, 2015 11:08PM
Type: dual tank w mound
Had Pump replaced as well as wire to house, dug up yard, to replace line, replaced pump, didn't take garbage, didn't clean up landscape, pump both tanks included in price , found truck parts in driveway and tanks not pumped, claim truck broke be back to pump....was this a lot , I had to rake out landscape and driveway, clean wires, boxes and garbage left behind, ..I hope they pump the tanks soon.
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Septic estimates.
Amount: $5,000.00
Posted by: Daytrp in Eldersburg, MD.Posted: July 17th, 2015 08:07PM
Type: Repair - new construction
Repair permit: $130-450 depending on county.
New construction permits: $250-550.
New septic $16-22k for advanced treatment, $8-10k conventional
Perc test for repair: $850-$1,400 takes 2-6 hours. Done with county sanatarian onsite.
A common septic repair: (installation of 2 - 60' long x 3' wide x 8' deep with 4' of stone below pipe invert) runs about $6,500.Trench dimensions are determined by number of bedrooms (occupancy) and percolation rates from perc test. price varies depending on Trench size. Bigger means more.
Septic tank add $2,500-3,500
Pump chamber, pump and controls add $4,000-5,000.
Advanced treatment unit add $10k- $13k to price of permit and trenches.
Some states Have programs to help upgrade your septic tank. Check with your county health department.
I bid these jobs and this is my basic start point. Specailty jobs, difficulty of access, heavy rock, all add to the bid price
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Septic System Installation
Amount: $15,650.00
Posted by: ABMCCAA in Bakersfield, CA.Posted: June 26th, 2015 05:06PM
New 1500 Gallon Tank, Engineering, 60' of Leach Field with Rock base drainage system. 50 ton of 3/4" rock, new 4" main line to house, soils testing and permits. Took 3 days total.
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grandmother taken advantage of with ultra high price?
Amount: $10.00
Posted by: andrewbasil in hemet, CA.Posted: March 23rd, 2015 06:03AM
Type: simple leach line replacement
75 feet of leach line were dug up and replaced the. attached up to original fifteen hundred gallon 1973 concrete septic tank and re buried .. they had to knock down two fruit trees and by accident sheared off a water tap. (Having not repaired the water line it has now become a 5 foot stream shooting straight up in air.)
I do feel grandmother was taken advantage and charged double of not more for services that ... and this is the worst part ... a permit nor independent inspection was never done for this job. And even though these men work for a major plumbing company they insisted on cash only.
Is this right? Help me out here what do I do? This was 3 days ago.
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septic install and repair
Amount: $25.00
Posted by: ltodd kinsey in cda, ID.Posted: February 26th, 2015 11:02PM
Type: all
If properly maintained a working system should never need pumped
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: M. IRIARTE in STROUDSBUR, PA.Posted: February 4th, 2015 05:02AM
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Lift Pump
Amount: $2,700.00
Posted by: Lift pump last minute $2700 addition in Sarasota, FL.Posted: February 3rd, 2015 09:02AM
Type: septic
we needed a new drain field as slow draining. county said we need a lift pump as due to high water table septic tank is not low enough. We already spent 5000 on drain field. Is this too much? We are in Florida
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Leach Field
Amount: $13,000.00
Posted by: El Jeje in Andover, CT.Posted: January 8th, 2015 07:01PM
Type: Infiltrators
Quick 4 infiltrators, leach field and landscaping only. Tank was recently replaced. For a 4 bedroom home with excellent soil.
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Tank and 250ft Infiltrator leaching system
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: a user in Dalton, GA.Posted: September 18th, 2013 06:09PM
Type: concrete
GA- for a 3bdrm house. By North Georgia Backhoe. Took about 6hrs
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just price a new system 3 bedrooms
Amount: $2,800.00
Posted by: no name in harrison, MI.Posted: April 22nd, 2013 05:04PM
Type: convertional system
That was the cost for everything
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New cement 61 by 103 lid, new mortar at outlet
Amount: $1,300.00
Posted by: a user in NorthPort, FL.Posted: April 11th, 2013 09:04AM
Type: Lid
Seems we had gasses that formed a hole, maybe 10 inch wide, 6-10 feet deep. They replaced the cement lid 61 by103 inches. 3 men, trucks and a backhoe. Also ne mortar around the outlet. Total cost $1,300. Too much? Took about 2 hours. I think they did a great job. We will see! Tank is 24 years old. The load lid,2 inch thick concrete, the new one is 3 inch.
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: rm in goldsboro, NC.Posted: February 26th, 2013 04:02AM
Type: lift system
Lambchops,,,I am in goldsboro also and may need a lift system. can you shoot me an email at have some questions for you
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Hoot 600 System
Amount: $41,000.00
Posted by: lje33437 in Princeton, NJ.Posted: February 15th, 2013 05:02AM
Type: Pump/Drip System
Got a perk, that was the good news. Had to put in expensive Hoot 600 for a 5 bedroom house. 1,500 gallon tank, Hoot 600 and field with mound because of the soil conditions. Lots of shale in area.
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Septic system with lift pump and leach field
Amount: $4,500.00
Posted by: Lambchops in Goldsboro, NC.Posted: September 7th, 2012 07:09AM
Type: Lift System
I just got out the Air Force and Sub Contracted my own home, I had to have a lift site for my septic tank, or put in the mound system, Well I couldn't see this hump of dirt in my yard so I chose the lift site which was a 1000ft away. I know that sounds a long way away but 2 inch pipe is really not that expensive bottom line I did a little research and got a few estimates which in 2000 was really high. there were 3 bids for over $6500.00 And one for $4800, but I did my landscaping and septic system for $4500. Not bad for a guy just using good ole common sense and you can too.
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Septic system with lift pump and leach field
Amount: $12,000.00
Posted by: Will Marcinko in McHenry, IL.Posted: August 30th, 2011 09:08AM
Engineering survey, ground feasability survey plus permits. We had a 1000 gallon septic tank, 750 gallon lift tank, 233 feet of trench line, 240 feet of leach pipe and a Hydromatic SW33M1 effluent pump installed. He also reseeded and landscaped the damages done by the excavating.
My question is, "Did we spend too much?"
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Septic Mound System
Amount: $22,892.00
Posted by: bobswife in Egg Harbor Twp, NJ.Posted: July 30th, 2010 05:07AM
Type: Mound System
Extreme flooding forced new system after old leach system failed. Installed new 44.5 by 18.5, 12.5 deep, engineered designed mound system, added additional 1000 gallon tank with pump to mound system. Installed automatic tank alarm. Approx 12 trees were removed in process.
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Amount: $7.70
Posted by: Gail1 in Pennington, NJ.Posted: February 11th, 2010 05:02AM
Type: Tank
We had slow drainage. The company came out on a Thursday and tried to clear the clog. Afterwards, didn't hear the proper flow into the tank. Friday, brought camera and said pipes were old and damaged by roots, etc. Brought in small backhoe. Dug up pipe to tank, jackhammered a 12 foot section of our bedroom leading to bathroom, replaced pipe for use. (Sat. and Sun. off) Monday, came to fill trench with some gravel and filled dirt back into trench. Put some gravel in small section in our bedroom, poured concrete at connecting point. My husband poured the finishing concrete in our bedroom. This seems excessive in price to me. They said our drain field may need some attention (leading from tank, but that's not their job).
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