How Much Does a Septic System & Septic Tank Cost

$3,280 $5,040

The average cost to install a new septic tank system for the home is $3,918, with most homeowners spending between $3,280 and $5,040 for a 1,250-gallon system that supports 3 or 4-bedrooms. A new septic system with two alternating pumps costs $9,571 on average. Get free estimates from septic system installers near you.

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Septic System Design

The initial Design, Construction and Installation costs of a New Septic System may scare many Monticello MN area property owners. But, when you consider the longevity of a good Septic System and the relatively low cost to maintain and operate such a sewer system compared to a sewer bill from a municipality, then the costs seem much more reasonable.

Soil type, home size and site location are some of the biggest determining factors for the Cost of a New Septic System. Each job is unique because each property is unique. A ballpark estimate for design and installation could range anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000.

How Much Does a Septic Tank Cost?

The cost of a septic tank depends on several factors. The most significant factor in how much you will have to pay for a septic tank is the number of bedrooms your home has. More bedrooms mean more possible occupants and a higher capacity septic tank requirement.

For a 3 bedroom home, the size of a septic tank is usually 1000 gallons. The cost of a 1000 gallon septic tank ranges from around $600-1200. Keep in mind that your location can change the cost from one end of the pricing spectrum to the other.

For homes with 4 bedrooms or more, you can expect the septic tank’s size to be 1500 gallons or larger. You can expect to pay between $1200 and $2000 for a larger septic tank.

When most people think about septic system costs, they think about replacing a tank or installing a new one. This, however, is not where the highest costs come into play when talking about septic systems.

The real expense of installing a septic system comes from the installation of the leach field. When you think about installing a new septic system or replacing an old one, the money will be spent installing the leaching area.

The location of your property, the soil’s quality, and the water table are some of the other things that could change your septic system installation costs.

What Kinds of Septic Tank Systems are There?

There are lots of different options for the types

There are lots of different options for the types of septic systems you can choose from.  Two of the most popular types of conventional systems are anaerobic or aerobic septic tank systems.

Anaerobic Septic Systems

These anaerobic systems are more simple and just consist of a pipe from your house to the septic tank, then another pipe runs to the leach field. Waste is broken down by anaerobic bacteria that don’t need oxygen in this type of tank. An anaerobic septic system like this requires a large drain field, so anaerobic systems won’t work well for smaller properties.

Aerobic Septic Systems

For an aerobic septic system, you’ll still need the pipe from the house to the septic tank. You’ll also need an aerator and electrical hookup, adding to the cost of aerobic systems. A pump tank may also be needed with some aerobic systems. These septic systems use bacteria that need oxygen to break down waste and are more efficient than an anaerobic system. Because they also need a smaller drain field, these septic systems are a good choice for smaller properties.

Both of these septic systems rely on bacteria to help break down solid wastes in your septic tank. This is why it’s so important to not treat your septic systems with harsh chemicals; you don’t want to kill the bacteria!

Talk with your plumber to see if there are other septic tank options available in your area that better meet your specific needs or budget.

Septic Distribution Box Cost

While the distribution box might not seem like a major component in the septic system, it is one of the most important pieces. The distribution box is where the effluent flows through to get to the drain field. It is the connector between the tank and the drain field. If the distribution box is damaged or not functioning, it can cause the entire system to fail.

A distribution box is not very expensive, usually between $50 and $100 for a plastic distribution box. Concrete is more expensive because the boxes are heavier and have to be precast or cast in place. The cost of a concrete distribution box is usually between $600 and $650.

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Septic Tank Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional

Installing a septic tank system is no small task, but when municipal sewer systems are unavailable, it’s a task that’s perhaps unavoidable. While the costs to install a septic tank may seem high or complicated, it’s often a more cost-effective option to install a septic tank than trying to install sewer lines from the city, if that’s even an option.

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Many homeowners are interested in doing a DIY septic tank installation to save money. There are a number of tasks that can easily be accomplished by homeowners. Coordinating soil tests and obtaining proper permits are easy tasks. Homeowners can also remove existing landscaping features or dig the holes and trenches for the septic tank. Beyond these steps, it’s best to consider leaving the actual installation to a professional company that is licensed and insured in order to complete the job safely.

The stakes are high when installing a septic tank system since it’s the method of collecting and purifying infectious disease waste like E. coli. Improperly installing a septic tank could result in foul smells, contaminated water sources, and standing water on the property, all of which can put family and neighbors at risk. With qualified professionals doing the heavy lifting, homeowners can enjoy a smooth system that requires little effort to maintain. Once a septic tank company has been selected, homeowners can work with them to identify any tasks that can be done by the homeowner, if desired.

Pros know septic systemsConnect with trusted specialists in your area and receive free, no-commitment quotes for your project. Talk to a pro ++

Septic vs Sewer Cost

A septic system costs $3,100 to $9,600 to install while connecting to a main sewer line can be slightly more affordable, around $1,500 to $8,000. Think of this system as your own personal sewage system. A septic system treats wastewater on site, with an underground tank and pipe system on your property. If your home plumbing system is not hooked up to a septic system, it is connected to the main city sewer line. Sewage connections carry the wastewater from your home and route it underground to a city or county treatment plant.

SystemCost (Installed)Sewer$1,500 - $8,000Septic$3

SystemCost (Installed)
Sewer$1,500 – $8,000
Septic$3,100 – $9,600

Septic Tank Repair Costs

It’s possible your entire septic tank doesn’t need to be replaced, just a specific part. Repairs and replacement parts can cost far less than a full system replacement. These are some of the most common repairs:

Drain Field

Drain fields can overload and flood, causing a backup of sewage in toilets and sinks. Drain or leach field replacements cost $3,500 to $11,000.

Tank Filter

The tank filter is the most common replacement done by homeowners. It usually costs $230 to $280.

Tank Lid

Over time, concrete covers may crack, and steel lids may rust. You can typically replace a septic tank lid on your own for $35 to $60. It costs a bit more to have it replaced by a professional.

Tank Baffle

Baffle directs wastewater through the septic tank. Expect to pay $23 to $44 for a new baffle piece.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Years Does A Septic System Last?

A newly bought and installed septic system should last for about 40 years if the tank quality and installation process are good and the system is maintained regularly.

How Often Does A Septic Tank Need To Be Pumped?

While septic tank systems vary in capacity to suit the wastewater output from your home, they are designed to be big enough to store roughly three years’ worth of sludge before needing to be emptied.

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Septic Tank Cost: Types of Septic Tanks

There are only a few materials approved for septic tank designs, and each have their pros and cons. Adequately maintaining a septic tank can prolong the life of the system regardless of which material is chosen. The most common septic tanks are designed from concrete, fiberglass or plastic, and steel.

Concrete

Concrete tanks are the most common and durable for an average lifespan of 20 years. Over time, they can begin to crack and allow seepage of liquid waste out and groundwater into the tank, so it’s important to have inspections completed regularly. The average price of a concrete septic tank ranges between $2,350 and $6,750.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass septic tanks are a great alternative that resists any rusting, corrosion, and algae growth. They do not expand or contract either. While fiberglass tanks are heavier than plastic tanks, they are still at risk of shifting if water tables change or the ground shifts. These septic tanks cost approximately $1,600 to $2,000.

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Plastic

With an average cost of $830 to $1,900, plastic septic tanks are a lightweight option compared to a concrete tank. They resist rusting and cracking as well. Though the lighter weight can make them easier to install, if installed improperly, they can rise through the shifting ground to the surface or break under shifting pressure.

Steel

Stainless steel is a durable metal for many uses, but stainless steel septic tanks are the least preferred style, as those made of this material can break down before their expected 20-year lifespan. Buried in the ground and subjected to corrosive materials, a steel septic tank has ample opportunities to rust or corrode. Older homes for sale will likely need an inspection to review the safety of the tank before they are sold.

Mobile Home Septic Tanks

Mobile home septic tanks are basically the same as fixed home septic tanks in size requirements, permits, and installation. The challenge with a mobile home septic tank system is installing it in a location that will not be driven over by the home itself or trucks moving the home. The weight of the mobile home or trucks could damage the septic tank, so it’s best to review its position before moving the mobile home.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Types of Septic Tank Systems

The total cost of installing or replacing your septic tank is largely dependent on the type of system you choose. Here are some of the most common kinds of tanks:

Anaerobic Septic System

Anaerobic systems are a common choice for many homeowners because they don’t require additional power or chemicals. An anaerobic system contains bacteria that do not need oxygen to survive. The bacteria break down solid waste and the remaining liquid waste is piped out and distributed under the soil. The waste is naturally recycled as the water passes into the soil.

These systems cost about $2,000 to $5,000 to install.

Aerobic Septic System

Unlike anaerobic systems, aerobic systems use bacteria that do require oxygen to survive. Oxygen is pumped into the tank to activate the bacteria, which then feed on solid waste. Aerobic systems work well where the soil isn’t favorable for other systems and the groundwater table is high. It’s a good option for homes located near a body of water.

Aerobic systems are more expensive to install. Expect to pay between $10,000 and $20,000.

Gravity Septic System

A gravity septic system uses gravity for filtration and water flow. They need to be installed on a gentle slope to enable water flow without a pump.

Installation costs $1,500 to $4,000.

Conventional Septic System

The conventional septic system consists of a septic tank and a trench that acts as a drain field. The trench is constructed on stone or gravel and allows water to pass through. To prevent sand or dirt from contaminating the clean soil, geofabric is installed on top of the trench. A conventional septic system needs a large space to operate.

These systems cost between $2,000 and $5,000 to install.

Mound Septic System

If your groundwater is close to the surface, a mound septic system is the best choice. A sand mound is constructed on the septic system area to pump wastewater from the tank into the mound in small quantities. The sand then filters the water before it gets into the soil and groundwater. This design requires a lot of space.

They’re also expensive to install because a sand mound has to be constructed. Total cost ranges from $10,000 to $20,000.

Chamber Septic System

Chamber septic systems have recently become a popular choice. They’re similar to conventional systems, except plastic chambers are used in the drain field instead of gravel. These are easier to construct and have a smaller carbon footprint.

They cost $1,500 to $5,000 to install.

Conclusion

A new septic tank or septic system, either for new construction or an existing property, will always cost at least a few thousand dollars. The national average cost of professional installation is about $5,828, with a typical range of $3,138 to $8,518

The overall cost of the project depends on the type of septic system you use, the size of your home, and any additional services you may need to complete the installation. Though the typical price range is a good set of guidelines, keep in mind that you could end up paying as little as $1,013 or as much as $18,163

Most importantly: DON’T attempt to install your own septic tank unless you’re a professional plumber or other specialist experienced with septic systems. No matter how handy you are, no matter how much money you think you’ll save, the risk of DIY in this case isn’t worth it. 

Main Photo Credit: Andy Rogers / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Jordan Ardoin is a writer and indoor plant enthusiast hailing from Florida. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing her two cats around the house and trying to keep her houseplants alive.

Replacing Non Conforming Septic MN Systems

If you have been informed that your existing Septic System is Non-Compliant, Non-Conforming or in need of major Repairs or Replacement, then it may be time to check into financial considerations. In Minnesota, there are a variety of Funding Opportunities that become available through several different special Low Interest Loans or Grants.

Check out the Low Interest Financing page on our Custom Septic, Inc. (CSI) website or do a little digging yourself (so to speak). Be sure to check out fund sources including:

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
  • of Trade & Economic Development
  • Local Zoning Commission
  • MN Housing Finance Agency
  • Soil & Water Conservation Districts

Septic Tank Costs for Installation

Once you pick out a type of septic system, material, size, and prepare the site, it’s time to figure out how installation will impact your septic tank cost. Depending on the system type, the installation costs can be high. Since you have to make every connection perfectly to reduce the chances of leaks and the grade of depth has to be exact, it’s a good idea to hire a professional. There are multiple steps to cover to ensure your system works and doesn’t fail on you. 

Hiring a professional can increase your septic tank cost by $1,500 to $4,000. This includes designing your system, filing your permits, excavating the site, and installation. For a professional to draw up a design, you’ll pay between $600 and $800. Your location will determine your contractor prices per hour, and they range between $150 and $200. A typical installation process without any major setbacks should take between two to give days and 16 to 40 hours from start to finish. 

You’ll also have to add soil testing to your septic tank cost, and your permits are another thing to think about. The permit cost will vary by area and municipality, but they usually fall below $1,000. A site inspection may also be necessary, but they’re usually free. 

There are several phases to the septic system installation. An inspection is the first step in the proces. This inspector will determine which design will work best for your space and if they need soil testing. The contractor will then design the system. Next, they’ll apply for all of the necessary permits. Once everything is good to go, they’ll start the installation process by starting to excavate the area. The entire installation process can take between two and five days from start to finish. When they get the system installed, an inspector will have to double-check it before they backfill the soil. Finally, they backfill it and finish the process. 


Labor will make up a decent portion of your septic system installation cost. The prices per hour will be area-specific, and this is why it’s important to get multiple estimates. Septic System Installation by David / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Signs your septic tank is full

If you notice any of the following around your home, your septic tank may be either full or broken:

  • Slow drains
  • A toilet that won’t flush or is slow to flush
  • Gurgling noises after flushing the toilet or running water
  • Sewage odor in the yard
  • A very green lawn, specifically around your septic tank
  • Pooling water in the lawn

Any of these signs could mean that something is wrong with your septic tank, but there’s a big difference between your tank being broken and it being full. Pumping rectifies a full septic tank, and it should only cost you about $300 to $600. On the other hand, a broken septic tank needs to be either repaired or replaced, and those will usually cost you more money.

Get Professional Estimates for Your Septic Tank Cost Near You 

Since it’s so important to have a professional come in and design and install your septic system, you want to get a few estimates around your local area. You can start your search with the following links to help control your septic tank costs. 

How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation

To ensure septic tank installation goes smoothly, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

Receive Multiple Estimates

Before any excavation or signed paperwork, receive estimates from licensed septic tank installers and read reviews about each company using trusted, third-party consumer reviews. Ensure the contractor you select holds the proper insurance and licensing and includes necessary preparations like excavation and drain field testing in their estimate.

Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit

Septic systems rely on permeable soil surrounding the tank to absorb and naturally treat liquid residue so that it doesn’t contaminate runoff water or leak into the water table. This area is known as the drain or leach field.

Before installing a septic tank, you’re legally obligated to obtain a percolation or “perc” test. This test confirms the soil meets requirements set by the city and local health department. Usually, the soil is required to have adequate amounts of permeable contents like sand or gravel. Once the land passes the percolation test, you’ll be able to obtain a permit and start the installation process.

Note: If you want to put a septic tank on a piece of land, it must pass the percolation test. We recommend ordering a test before purchasing the land you want to use for residential purposes.

Plan for Excavation

Heavy equipment is needed to excavate the large amount of land necessary for a septic tank. If you currently reside on the land, make sure to budget landscaping costs to fix any damage incurred during excavation.

If you’re building a new home, schedule the excavation at a time when it’ll have minimal impact on the construction process. Typically, this is before paving the driveways and sidewalks, but after the main frame of the home is built.

How much does it cost to install a septic system?

Installation costs generally make up 50% to 70% of what you’ll pay to replace your septic tank. That’s why it’s so important to shop around for quotes first to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

Here’s a breakdown of what your labor costs pay for:

  • Perc test: A perc test evaluates how well your soil absorbs and filters water. It requires the technician to dig a 2- to 3-foot hole, pour water in it and see how fast it dissipates. A perc test will run you around $750 to $1,850.
  • Building permits: The cost of building permits vary depending on your municipality. They typically run between $400 and $2,250, but you may pay more if you install an alternative septic system or you’re in an expensive area.
  • Excavation costs: This should run you $1,200 to $4,500, but this number will increase significantly if you also install a pump or go with the constructed wetland septic system.
  • Electrical: A traditional septic system will not need electrical work, but any system requiring a pump or other mechanical apparatus will require electricity. This cost is hard to determine since your local electrician will set the pricing and their effort depends on how much underground electrical line they have to run.

If you’re installing a septic system from scratch, you’ll have to pay even more for your drain or leach field and the plumbing to connect your home to the tank. A new drain field can cost up to $15,000.

Atlanta’s #1 Septic System Professionals

The professionals at The Original Plumber can come out to inspect your existing septic system or area you’d like to put a new septic tank system in your yard. We offer fair, honest, and upfront pricing when we install a septic system. This way, you won’t have any surprises and can trust you’re receiving high-quality work.

Our friendly and helpful team members can give you a easy estimate when you give us a call. We’ll factor in the cost of septic tank needs when building your estimate. We can also schedule your septic tank maintenance to keep your septic system functioning properly.

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