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How Much Does A Septic System Cost?

Typical Range: $3,123 - $9,644

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Septic Tank Installation Cost

Septic tanks cost between $3,123 and $9,644, or $6,319 on average. A typical 1,000-gallon tank, great for a 3-bedroom home, can range from $2,100 to $5,000, including the price of the tank itself, between $600 and $1,000. Compare quotes from septic tank services near you for the best price.

average cost to install a septic system is $6,100 or $475 to $17,500

If your home is not attached to a municipal sewer plant, then you likely have a septic system to handle your home's wastewater collection, treatment and disposal. This type of system requires an underground septic tank to hold the wastewater and a soil absorption system to disperse the clean wastewater back into the land. Many homeowners find predicting the final cost of a septic tank installation to be difficult, and for good reason. Many factors, including tank size, tank material, soil makeup, permitting requirements and installation charges, can affect the cost of a septic system.

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National Average $6,319
Typical Range $3,123 - $9,644
Low End - High End $500 - $18,210

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 806 HomeAdvisor members in .

New Septic System Installation Costs

Installation costs can vary considerably, but will generally cost between $3,123 and $9,644 for most anaerobic home septic tanks and systems. Aerobic systems begin at $10,000. The first step to determining the cost of a septic system is to contact a reputable installation professional for a consultation and estimate. The cost to install a septic tank will depend on the type of tank you choose, its size and the professional who installs the tank.

Anaerobic System Septic Tank Price

An anaerobic septic system is a relatively simple system consisting of a pipe leading from the house to the tank, and a branched pipe leading from the tank into the drain field. These systems rely on the presence of anaerobic bacteria (oxygen-hating bacteria) to break down waste in the tank. Anaerobic systems are typically much cheaper to install than the more complex aerobic system. They will typically cost between $2,000 and $5,000 to install.

Aerobic Septic System Cost

An aerobic system is a wastewater system that relies upon aerobic bacteria (oxygen-loving bacteria) to break down waste in the tank. Because oxygen is not naturally present in a septic tank, this system relies on an air pump to aerate the tank and promote the breakdown of waste. It will need more than one tank to complete the water treatment process. Aerobic are much more complicated than anaerobic systems and can cost between $10,000 and $20,000 to install.

Average Septic Tank Installation Costs

There are many factors that can affect your project cost, including the size of the tank, the installer's rates, the material the tank is made from and the ground where the tank is being installed. These factors must all be considered when shopping for a contractor.

House and Gallon Tank Size Considerations

Tank Gallon SizeHouse SizeTank Cost
1,0003 bedroom$600 - $1,000
1,2005-6 bedroom$1,200 - $1,600
2,000Small building (~14 occupants)$1,800 - $2,300
3,000Larger building$2,900 - $3,900


The amount of digging that needs to be done during the preparation phase should be considered when evaluating the overall price of the project. This work usually requires a fair amount of excavation and can affect landscaping. Homeowners should keep in mind that landscaping may need to be updated, replaced or repaired after the septic tank has been installed.

Excavation costs can range depending on the number of shrubs and plants that must be removed from the area, the specific type of machinery used for the excavation, the hardness of the soil, the quality of the terrain and so on. Typical costs for excavation can range from $1,200 - $4,500, but septic tank installers will wrap these costs into the total price of installation and therefore may offer the excavation at a lower rate.

Red Tape

Depending on the location and complexity of the installation, you may need to get a building permit prior to beginning the project. This will increase the cost, but will also ensure everything is done according to code.

Building permits usually fall in the range of $400 to $2,500. For a septic tank, a typical permit price should be around $1,000 or less. You can find out if you need to get a building permit by speaking with a local contractor.

Replacing Parts of a Septic System

Unfortunately, septic systems don't last forever. A typical tank will last at least 20 years if frequently cleaned and properly maintained. When the system begins to fail it may crack or corrode, causing the contents of the tank to leach into the ground water. When this happens, the well water may become contaminated, the yard may turn swampy and the septic system may stop functioning.

In some cases, failed anaerobic septic systems are replaced with alternative treatment systems (such as an aerobic system), which can cost as much as $15,000.

Drain/ Leach Field

The drain or leach field is the section of the septic system that transports the waste water back to the soil. The first sign of a problem with drain field is often a swampy area in the yard, or an odor of sewage on the property. Drain field replacement can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.

Sand Mound Septic System

An elevated sand mound septic system is a one that relies upon an elevated mound of sand for the drain field. Sand mounds are used when the soil is not deep enough for the installation of a replacement drain field.Sand mounds are an effective method for dealing with effluent, provided that the system is used properly. Homes that produce too much waste water may experience problems with their sand mound system, but this is often corrected with changes in lifestyle rather than replacement of the drain field.

Cost of Replacing a Baffle

In some cases, replacing a baffle is enough to fix the problem without requiring complete replacement of the tank. The baffle is a part of the septic tank that prevents scum from building up in the inlets or outlet pipe. Replacing a baffle can help save the tank, saving the customer thousands. The replacement price falls between $300 and $500.

Tank Pump Price

A septic tank that is located lower than the drain field may require a pump to bring effluent up to the drain field. Replacing a failed pump can cost between $800 and $1,400.

Even a system that functions properly will need to be pumped every two or three years to remove the solid waste. This pumping costs around $400.

Tank Lid Replacement Cost

The lid covers and supplies access to the septic tank. On some metal tanks, the lid may rust and need to be replaced. This is a relatively minor repair but must be handled immediately to avoid accidents, as a rusted lid can be a danger for anyone who may walk on top of it. Standard septic tank replacement lids can range in cost from $30 to $70. Installation charges will apply if you hire a contractor. If the septic tank lid is made from concrete, the cost of replacement will be more as special equipment will be required to remove the old lid and install the new one.

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Types of Septic Tanks

Septic tanks can be made from a variety of different materials. The type will affect your tank's cost and length of life.


Concrete tanks are the most common type of septic tank. The cost to install a septic tank made of concrete is in the average price spectrum, falling between $2,350 and $6,750. These tanks are susceptible to cracking or separation, but are usually durable for a couple of decades. It's important to have your concrete septic tank manually inspected regularly to ensure that there are no cracks or runoff. Getting a regular inspection will help ensure that your tank will have a long service life.


Fiberglass and plastic tanks are less vulnerable to the rusting and cracking of the other materials. The lower weight makes it more susceptible to structural damage, however, and the tanks themselves can shift in the soil.


Plastic is a durable, lightweight, relatively inexpensive material. Plastic septic tanks are less susceptible to cracking than concrete, and are incapable of rusting, but because they are so lightweight, plastic septic tanks can be vulnerable to damage during installation. In addition, plastic can float to the surface of the lawn if the tank is not properly installed. However, plastic can be less expensive than concrete because plastic is lighter weight and therefore easy to install.


Steel septic tanks are the least durable and least popular types of tanks. Steel septic tanks have covers that can corrode, which can lead to an unsuspecting person to fall through the cover. The covers can be replaced separately if it should happen to corrode. Homebuyers thinking about buying a home with an older steel tank should have the tank inspected before finalizing the purchase.

Mobile Home Septic Tanks

Mobile home septic tanks have the same requirements as septic tanks for non-mobile homes, including the same tank size requirements, the same permitting process and same installation process. The only difference between a septic tank for a mobile home and a septic tank for a standard home is that the mobile home could crush the septic tank if it is driven over the septic tank before being set down in its location.

To avoid this problem, engineers refer to the documents that provide a top-view of the land to decide where the system must be installed. Engineers must take into consideration the location of the mobile home and other mobile homes in the same area, and must position the septic tank in a place that is away from the traffic of these homes.

Labor Costs & Hiring a Pro

In a typical septic tank installation, labor is more expensive than the price of the tank itself. Whereas the tank for a 3-4 bedroom home may cost in the range of $600 to $1,100, the labor to install can range from $1,500 to $4,000.

While working with a professional will certainly increase your budget, these costs are necessary to ensure that installation is done correctly. Septic tank installation is a complicated process. An improperly installed septic tank can lead well to water pollution, damage to the home and expensive repairs.

In addition, an unpermitted installation of a septic tank can make a home difficult to sell and insure. Working with a professional is the best way to ensure that the septic tank is permitted and safely installed.

Overall, the cost to install will largely depend on the professional you choose, and the type and size of tank you pick. Be sure to interview at least three professionals before choosing someone.

When searching for a septic tank installer, remember that the professional with the lowest bid may not be the best professional for the job. Quality of work, experience and reputation in the community are important considerations when choosing a contractor.

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