How Much Does a Septic Tank Installation Cost? 

How Much Does a Septic Tank Installation Cost? 
by Kevyn Pitts - August 16, 2022

Septic tanks and septic systems are necessary for the proper removal of waste from the kitchen, bathroom, and shower of a home. Although many existing residences are connected to municipal sewer lines, new homes will require the installation of a new system. After encountering septic troubles, some homeowners may need to update their septic system. Unfortunately, both the installation and replacement of septic systems may be expensive and burdensome for homeowners.

This article discusses the types of septic systems accessible to homes, the costs of installation, and how to best prepare for your installation.

Septic Tank Installation Cost

The entire cost of installing a septic tank will depend on a variety of factors. Complex systems will be more expensive than simple alternatives. Some types of septic systems necessitate extensive space for operation. Consequently, your installation prices will rise. When installing a new septic tank system, you must account for the higher costs associated with the preparation, permits, and perc testing. When planning the installation of a septic tank, labor expenses and home size must also be considered.

To assist you in estimating the entire cost of your project, we will break down the projected expenses of the various septic system installations.

Conventional Septic System

These systems require a great deal of area to function correctly and are best suited for single-family homes. If you have sufficient space for one of these systems, the total cost of your project will range between $2,000 and $7,000.

Anaerobic Septic System

If your property has the land to support a big drain field, an anaerobic system may be a viable choice. These systems will cost between $3,000 and $8,000 on average. Costs associated with installation and a drain field will also increase the ultimate price of this solution.

Alternative Septic Systems

Alternative septic systems should be considered by homeowners with limited yard space or who prefer more compact solutions. These methods are also used when the water table is high, the soil is poor, or the bedrock is high.

Typically, the graveled chamber septic system costs between $4,000 and $10,000. If you want an eco-friendly designed wetland septic system, you need to allocate between $7,500 and $15,000 for the project. An evapotranspiration septic system is an excellent choice for homeowners living in extremely hot areas. This system costs $10,000 to $15,000 on average. The pressurized septic system, which functions effectively with a high water table, ranges in price between $6,500 and $9,000.

Engineered Septic Systems

These are the most expensive systems since they require more moving components, specialized equipment, and installations. Additionally, sand and a pump tank are required for mound systems. These extra issues add $10,000 to $20,000 to the cost of installation.

Budget between $7,000 and $20,000 for the installation of a sand filter system with recirculation. If you want an aerobic septic system, you may anticipate spending between $11,000 and $19,000.

Additional Costs to Consider

Depending on the size of the property and the soil conditions, the cost of a percolation test might range from $250 to $1,000. This soil testing is mandatory, and you must account for the associated expenditures. Typically, only a few holes are dug in the intended leach field area, but the cost of your test may increase if a land survey is required to establish where to excavate.

To install a septic tank on your property, you must obtain a permit. Permit costs vary by state, but are normally between $200 and $2,000 and must be renewed every few years.

Labor Costs

Labor expenses must also be considered for your project. Typically, you would engage a plumber or another specialist to replace or install a septic tank. Depending on the complexity of the project, labor costs may range between $1,500 and $4,000.

Septic Tank Size

The size of your septic tank is directly proportional to the number of bedrooms in your home. The greater the number of bedrooms in a property, the larger the septic tank must be to serve the family. For instance, a 1,000-gallon tank would be plenty for a three-bedroom home and would cost approximately $1,500. However, a one-bedroom residence would only require a 500-gallon tank, bringing the price of the tank down to approximately $800.

Septic Tank Repair Cost

Even though the average lifespan of a septic tank is 20 to 30 years, your system's components will see regular wear and tear over time. Most septic tank systems feature components that are detachable from one another, making replacements straightforward.

Listed below are common septic tank components that may require replacement or repair over time:

  • Not all systems will necessitate a tank pump. If you do require a replacement, you should expect to pay between $600 and $1,500.
  • Tank lids may shatter over time as a result of continued use of the tank. Although the cost of the replacement item ranges from $50 to $120, hiring a professional to install it will bring the total to $100 to $300.
  • Tank risers: These components assist deeper-buried septic tanks in bringing their lids to the surface. The price range for these replacements is from $350 to $800.
  • The baffle, which is crucial for channeling wastewater through the septic tank for proper evacuation, can be replaced for between $25 and $400.
  • This component, which aids in preventing sediments from entering the leach field, will cost between $250 and $300.
  • As one of the most costly replacements in a septic tank system, homeowners should expect to pay between $4,000 and $15,000 for a leach field.

Homeowners might also consider purchasing a septic tank guarantee to cover system repairs. Individual component replacement will cost far less than replacing the entire system.

Septic Tank Systems and Materials

The price of a new septic system is determined by the size of your home, including the number of bedrooms, the type of system you choose, and the material of your septic tank. Below is a list of available treatment systems and storage tanks, along with their average pricing.

Conventional Septic System

A normal septic system moves residential sewage into the septic tank using gravity. Solid garbage settles at the bottom and liquid sewage rises to the top as sewage is split into layers.

When liquid sewage reaches the level of the outflow pipe, it runs into the drain field for further decomposition. These conventional septic systems are typically the most cost-effective, averaging between $2,000 and $7,000.

Anaerobic Septic System

The anaerobic septic system breaks down waste in the septic tank using anaerobic microorganisms. These systems require neither additional chemicals nor energy. They provide homeowners with an economical option.

However, anaerobic systems are ineffective at tank cleaning and necessitate a bigger drain field to function well. The increased size raises the typical price to between $3,000 and $8,000.

Alternative Septic System

An alternative septic system collects sewage similarly to a conventional system, however it decomposes the sewage in the tank using oxygen rather than naturally occurring bacteria. In general, drain fields for alternative systems use less land and emit cleaner wastewater. However, this benefit comes at a higher price, with systems often costing between $4,000 and $15,000.

For homeowners, the following alternative septic systems are available:

  • Chambered septic system: Chambered systems use gravel-less drain fields with leaching chambers for filtering, eliminating the requirement for a gravel/stone system. Ideal for regions with high groundwater tables or little gravel.
  • This method purifies wastewater using bacteria, microorganisms, and plants, similar to the natural process that occurs in natural wetlands. The trash then promotes the growth of these plants. This is the most environmentally friendly septic system available.
  • Drip septic system: Drip systems are designed to "irrigate" septic water across a larger area by distributing long tubing across the leach field.
  • These systems utilize a big open-air tank to permit wastewater to evaporate naturally. This type of device functions most well in climates with abundant sunlight and heat.
  • This technique focuses on distributing wastewater evenly through the use of pressure. It can be combined with septic systems that prioritize water purification.

Engineered Septic System

Engineered septic systems are the most sophisticated and are typically required owing to poor soil quality or a home's location on an incline. Similar to conventional and alternative septic systems, designed systems collect and separate waste in a tank. Instead of depending on gravity to drain, the liquid waste must be injected into the leach field so that it can be evenly distributed across the area. These systems typically cost between $7,000 and $20,000

The following are examples of designed sewage treatment systems:

  • Mound septic system: Instead of a traditional leaching field, mound systems use sand mounds to treat wastewater.
  • By pumping oxygen into the treatment tank, these systems develop naturally occurring microorganisms for waste processing.
  • After exiting the pump tank, this septic system employs sand to filter the effluent. The treated water is subsequently discharged into a drain field. This sand filter septic system works well in places with a high water table or in proximity to bodies of water.

Septic Tank Components

Various materials can be utilized to construct a septic tank.

Here are the most prevalent options for your home:

  • Durable and rust-resistant, concrete tanks are difficult to repair if damaged. Depending on size, concrete tanks might cost as much as $2,000 each.
  • Plastic septic tanks are inexpensive yet susceptible to damage. They cost roughly $1,200 each.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass tanks are stronger than their plastic equivalents, yet they can be transferred or relocated if the water table rises excessively. These tanks can cost as much as $2,000 each.
  • Although steel is a sturdy material, steel tanks are not used in modern installations since they are susceptible to rust. When these tanks begin to deteriorate, they should be replaced with a more modern choice as they are typically found in older installations.

How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation

Here are a few things to keep in mind for a successful septic tank installation.

Receive Multiple Estimates

Before any excavation or paperwork is signed, obtain quotations from licensed septic tank installers and read reputable third-party evaluations of each company. Ensure that the contractor you hire has the required insurance and licensure and that the estimate includes necessary preparations such as excavation and drain field testing.

Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit

The permeable soil surrounding a septic tank absorbs and organically treats liquid residue so that it does not pollute runoff water or seep into the water table. This location is referred to as the drain or leach field.

You are required by law to conduct a percolation or "perc" test before establishing a septic tank. This test verifies that the soil meets city and local health department regulations. Typically, the soil must have sufficient quantities of permeable materials, such as sand or gravel. After passing the percolation test, you will be able to obtain a permit and begin the installation process.

Land must pass the percolation test before a septic tank may be installed there. Before purchasing land for residential purposes, we recommend ordering a test.

Plan for Excavation

To excavate the vast quantity of ground necessary for a septic tank, heavy machinery is required. If you currently reside on the property, you should include landscaping charges to repair any damage caused by excavation.

When constructing a new home, you should arrange the excavation at a period when it will have the least influence on the construction process. Typically, this occurs before the roads and sidewalks are paved, but after the main structure of the house has been constructed.


Whether planning a new installation or upgrading an existing tank, it is essential to choose a system that is compatible with your household size, climate, and surrounding environment. Although it is possible to install a septic tank yourself, we do not recommend it unless you have prior knowledge. You should instead consult a professional installation to do the task. Research at least three local installers and compare their rates, available equipment, labor charges, and applicable warranties.

Now, what are some other things you can do to take care of your home? You can read our article for assistance.

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