How Much Does a Septic Tank Cost? A Guide To Septic Systems

How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My Septic Tank?

Your nose can tell you when it’s time to replace your septic tank, but wouldn’t you rather know before you notice a sickening stench?  Septic tanks do give some rather subtle signs of needing replacement.  Recognizing the signs can save you time, money and some very unpleasant homeowner experiences.


Are plastic septic tanks legal in Colorado?

Colorado Septic Tanks are a type of sewage disposal system. Septic tanks made of plastic can be purchased for up to 50% less. These septic tanks have been certified by the state of Colorado for use in residential and commercial applications.

Well Drilling and Digging Cost Per Foot

Well drilling costs $15 to $25 per foot for the drilling process only. Installing a complete well water system costs $25 to $65 per foot, irrigation wells run $50 to $100 per foot, and geothermal wells are $5 to $40 per foot.

 Well Drilling Cost Per Foot   Type Average Cost P

Well Drilling Cost Per Foot
Type Average Cost Per Foot
Digging A 3”–4” Well To 25’ $10 – $25
4” Residential Water Well $25 – $40
6” Residential Water Well $30 – $65
8” Residential Water Well $60 – $100
Irrigation or Agricultural Well $50 – $100
Artesian Well $35 – $85
Geothermal Well $5 – $40

*Prices typically include drilling, pump, casing, and complete installation.

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Residential Water Well Cost

Drilling a residential water well costs $25 to $65 per foot or $3,750 to $15,300 on average for a complete system and installation. Prices include the drilling, a pump, casing, wiring, and more. Total costs largely depend on the depth drilled and the well’s diameter.

Water Well Costs
Item Average Cost
Drilling Only $15 – $25 per foot
Well Pump $300 – $2,000
Well Casing Pipe $250 – $2,500
Electrical Wiring & Control Box $500 – $1,500
Pressure Storage Tank & Switch $300 – $2,500
Water Treatment & Purification System $500 – $3,000
Water Quality Testing $50 – $650
Permit $350 – $700
Water Heater $800 – $1,800

Cost To Dig A Shallow Well

Cost To Dig A Shallow Well

The average cost to dig a shallow well is between $1,800 and $3,000, or $5 to $10 per cubic yard depending on the depth of the water table. Shallow wells are typically 25′ to 50′ deep, 3 to 10 feet in diameter, and are best in areas without rocks or any bedrock.

Dug wells capture water from shallow aquifers close to the surface and are lined with brick, stone, or concrete tiles to prevent the walls from caving in. Shallow wells produce less yield and are more difficult to protect from contamination. Drilling is the most common method of well construction.

Irrigation or Agricultural Well Cost

Irrigation or Agricultural Well Cost

Drilling an irrigation or agricultural well costs $25 to $50 per foot or $85 to $105 per foot for a complete installation. Residential irrigation wells cost $9,000 to $15,000 on average, while many high-yield commercial wells cost $50,000 to $100,000, which typically includes the pump.

Commercial agricultural wells require a larger borehole and are drilled deeper to increase water volume to at least 6 gallons per minute per acre for a center pivot. Most states require a permit to drill and place limits called allocations on the amount of water that can be pumped out over time.

Irrigation or Agricultural Well Cost
Item Average Cost
Residential Drilling + Pump $9,000 – $15,000
Commercial Drilling + Pump $50,000 – $100,000
Electrical Wiring $25 – $50 LF+ $500 – $1,000 per pole every 200 feet
Pressure Storage Tank $300 – $2,500
Permit $564

*Based on average depth of 100′ to 300′. Add additional costs for solar powered pump, power supply, water treatment, deeper drilling, or larger pump.

Geothermal Well Drilling Cost

Geothermal Well Drilling Cost

Geothermal well drilling costs $5 to $40 per foot or $3,500 to $5,000 per well. Geothermal wells are 4” to 8” wide, 100’ to 500’ deep, and spaced 10’ to 20’ apart. Most homes need 3 to 5 boreholes on average with 300’ to 500’ of piping per ton of HVAC capacity.

Installing a vertical geothermal heat pump costs $22,000 to $35,000 on average, including the drilling. The largest cost is getting the equipment to the job site, and experienced contractors are sparse.

Geothermal wells work by sinking pipes filled with an ethanol solution into a drilling location with a drill rig as a source of heating and cooling energy for a home. During colder months, the solution brings the heat back to the house; in the summer, heat is taken from the house and transferred to the ground.

Artesian Well Cost

Artesian Well Cost

An artesian well costs $35 to $85 per foot or $5,000 to $15,000 for drilling and casing to an average depth of 150 to 450 feet to hit an aquifer. Groundwater in aquifers between layers of rock is a pressurized body of water, causing water to flow naturally without pumping or electricity when tapped by a well. Although artesian wells cost more and need a specific location, they require low maintenance and ongoing expenses.

Sand Point Well Cost

A sand point well costs $300 to $3,000 and is a good solution for temporary water needs, delivering up to 3 gallons per minute. A sand point well is the most economical way to get water, can be installed by a homeowner, but may not last long or produce clean water at the right pressure consistently.

Sand point wells are similar to dug wells in depth, with a steel pipe driven around 20′ deep and a 1-1/4” to 2” diameter. A screen on the end of the point filters the water from water-bearing sand, and it’s drawn to the surface by a pump. Choose from kits with a hand pump or a jet pump. Installing a water tank is optional.

Sand Point Well Cost
Item Average Cost
Sand Point Kit $225 – $500
Steel Down Pipe $100 – $150
Jet Pump & Pressure Tank Combo $200 – $600+ $439 to install
Hand Pump & Small Tank Combo $100 – $300+ $146 to install
Sand Point $35
Well Cap / Seal $20 – $40

Downsides to Sandpoint Wells

  • Requires a shallow water table; not suitable for depths beyond 25’.
  • With certain strata, they clog easily, as do the screens.
  • Only for intermittent use, not for regular water supply or irrigation.
  • Water has to be pulled slowly to reduce clogging.
  • Shallow water sources have a high potential for contamination if there is surface water runoff from a higher elevation.
  • Water pressure might not be consistent.

Cost to Redrill a Well Deeper

The average cost to redrill a well deeper is $3,000 to $6,000, or between $35 and $84 per foot, which is the same as drilling a new well. Hydrofracturing is another method used to increase water flow and costs $1,500 to $3,000. Explore both options before drilling.

There is no guarantee that deepening a well will yield water if the well has dried up. Many professionals only recommend deepening a well if it’s not deep enough for hydraulic fracturing (at least 200′ deep), or if hydrofracturing has been performed multiple times with failure to meet the water demand.

Hydraulic fracturing has a 97% success rate, requires no excavation, and uses highly pressurized water to break up the solid rock at the lowest level of the well to open new pathways for water to enter your well. Plus, the final cost will be known in advance.

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Septic Tank Cost by Capacity

Septic tanks come in different capacities based on how many gallons of water they hold. Average prices range from $720 to $10,000. The size of your house is the biggest factor in determining what capacity you need. The larger the house, the more bathrooms and connections needed to maintain a clean and healthy environment. Below are the most common tank capacities and the associated costs of buying each tank. Keep in mind that each capacity comes in concrete, plastic, or fiberglass 3.

CapacityCost (Materials Only)750 Gallons$720 - $1,

CapacityCost (Materials Only)
750 Gallons$720 – $1,200
1,000 Gallons$800 – $2,000
1,200 Gallons$1,200 – $2,000
1,500 Gallons$1,300 – $2,500
2,000 Gallons$2,500 – $4,000
2,500 Gallons$3,000 – $4,500
5,000 Gallons$5,000 – $10,000

750-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

A 750-gallon tank costs $720 to $1,200. This capacity is ideal for small townhomes or single-family residences with two bedrooms. Most will only have one or two toilets connected to the system. Many 750-gallon tanks are plastic and installed above ground, but they can be used for underground systems.

1,000-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

Most homeowners pay $800 to $2,000 for a 1,000-gallon tank. This capacity suits a three- or four-bedroom home with two or three bathrooms. Plastic and precast concrete are common materials for 1,000-gallon tanks, usually used for conventional above or below ground systems. The average family home typically has a 1,000-gallon tank.

1,200-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

The average cost of a 1,200-gallon tank is $1,200 to $2,000, designed for homes with four or five bedrooms. Many 1,200-gallon tank systems are hooked up to three or four bathrooms. Alternative or engineered systems installed underground with a new drain field hold around 1,200-gallons.

1,500-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

A 1,500-gallon tank costs $1,300 to $2,500. This capacity is reserved for a large five- to seven-bedroom house, usually upwards of 3,000 sq.ft. There may be four, five, or even six bathrooms hooked up to the system. Fiberglass and concrete are used more commonly as the capacity goes up, but plenty of plastic 1,500-gallon tanks are available.

2,000-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

Expect to pay $2,500 to $4,000 for a 2,000-gallon tank. It can serve a small apartment or duplex with about 14 residents. Precast concrete is the preferred material for a long-lasting 2,000-gallon tank, which may be used by several people at the same time. Many of these larger tanks will be installed underground with a set drainage field.

2,500-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

If you need a 2,500-gallon tank, plan on paying $3,000 to $4,500. Small apartment buildings usually use this capacity for underground systems, with precast and plastic options readily available. The larger the tank is in size, the more labor involved to make sure it fits into place and has the proper support around it.

5,000-Gallon Septic Tank Cost

The average cost of a 5,000-gallon tank is $5,000 to $10,000, usually reserved for apartment buildings and community tanks. The sheer size of these tanks makes them an uncommon choice for the average homeowner unless they live in a sprawling property or farm where they want to store significant water and reuse it wherever possible by separating potable and non-potable water.

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Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Professionals. Like all major home projects, the installation (or replacement) of a septic system should involve getting several bids from qualified professionals. It is important to get references and proof of insurance for your project. The work and materials should also have a guarantee or warranty. Often an installer can provide a maintenance agreement to inspect it annually and pump it every one to three years.
  • Permits. A permit is typically an additional cost and depends on your municipality and area, but they are typically not more than $1,000. Your site may need soil testing as a part of the design and permitting process. These can range from very small to quite large in scope and depend on the property size, history, and location. After the system construction, an inspection occurs, but this does not usually involve a fee.
  • Clog prevention. When using a septic system, be careful about what you flush down the toilet. For example, chemicals could harm or kill the bacteria in the tank and cause the system to fail. Some common household items can clog, back up, and possibly damage the system. This is not only an inconvenience but could also cause an expensive repair. Some items include paper towels, diapers, cigarette butts, tampons, cat litter, and any fats, oils, and grease from cooking or other household activities.
  • Soil prep. Because of their roots, shrubs and trees may harm the system when planted near the tank or the drain field. It is important to have some plant growth over the drain field to prevent erosion. Grasses and shallow-rooted perennials are a great option to landscape over the drain field. Large trees and trees with aggressive roots, such as elm, birch, maple, ash, weeping willow, aspen, and beech trees, can ruin the pipes of the drain field, which can cost a lot of money to repair.
  • Steel septic tanks. Steel septic tanks were once widely used, but many installers have shifted away from putting steel tanks in due to serious safety concerns. In many places, steel tanks are no longer allowed, and if they are installed in old houses, they need to be checked for safety hazards. Installers and homeowners prefer concrete, fiberglass, or plastic because of steel’s susceptibility to rust. As the least popular and least durable option, steel tanks installed in the last two decades may begin rusting long before they reach their lifespan of 20 to 25 years. Rusting steel top covers are a safety hazard as corrosion can lead to collapsing covers if someone walks over them and falls into the tank. Anyone with an existing steel septic tank should have it inspected regularly.
  • DIY. While some homeowners may be tempted to try DIY for tank work such as landscaping and digging holes, this project is always best left to the professionals. Septic systems need to be up to code. Most states require licensed installers because mistakes in the system installation could cause waste contamination in connected water sources.
  • Alternative septic tanks. Alternative systems like anaerobic and aerobic range in price from $6,000 to $15,000. As the name suggests, these are a newer yet highly popular option with a slightly different design compared to the conventional style. Both use gravity to pull wastewater into the tank, but alternative systems use oxygen to break down the waste. These systems include a motor or pump that eventually pushes cleaner wastewater into the drain fields. An alternative setup may need up to half the size of a standard drain field.
  • Engineered septic tanks. An engineered septic system costs $12,000 to $15,000. As a more expensive system, this design is usually only used when a soil test reveals the soil is not permeable enough or too permeable for standard installations. This may happen in clay soil with very low permeability or sandy soils with extra high permeability. In this case, an engineered tank is required to pump liquid effluence forcefully into a specially engineered drain field. An engineered system can be installed next to a sand-filled box for wastewater purification before it filters through to the water table. An engineered tank can also be installed with a new drain field mound. Chamber, drip, pressure distribution, and recirculating sand systems are engineered for the highest efficiency and safety.

Septic Tank Cost: Types of Septic Tank Systems

Not all septic systems are designed to operate the same way. Some have been engineered to better accommodate homes that sit on a hill or have poor drainage. Others operate efficiently and safely enough with the existing soil layers to allow for natural purification before reaching the water table. The type of septic tank that’s best for your home and geographic area will affect the overall septic tank cost. There are three designs available to choose from, and qualified professionals can assist in determining which works best on the property.


Conventional Septic System

The most common is the conventional septic system that uses gravity to collect household waste in the tank. Solid waste will naturally settle on the bottom of the tank while liquids rise to the top. An outflow pipe near the top of the tank allows the liquid waste to be released into the drain field for decomposition when the tank reaches capacity. Thanks to a simple design, the average cost of $3,500 to $10,000 for a conventional septic system is lower than the cost of other designs.

Alternative Septic System

Alternative septic tanks work similarly to a conventional system, using gravity to collect the waste into the tank, but they rely on oxygen to help break down the waste inside the tank using a motor or pump. This means cleaner wastewater is pushed to the drain fields, which could require up to half the space of a regular drain field. The average cost of an alternative septic system is between $6,000 and $15,000.

Engineered Septic System

After a soil test has been completed, homeowners may discover that the ground is either too permeable or not permeable enough for a standard septic tank, and an engineered tank will need to be installed. These septic tanks must forcefully pump the liquid effluence into a special, engineered drain field. The system can be built on a new drain field mound or next to a sand-filled box that can purify the wastewater before it reaches the water table. An engineered septic system can cost on average between $12,000 and $15,000.

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Contact Snowbridge Inc. of Denver, CO Today

Snowbridge Inc. is here and able to work on completing a Septic Installation in Denver. We offer honest estimates and quotes and combine those with unbeatable innovative plumbing technology and equipment to deliver the best kind of septic installation and plumbing services available. Whether you need to have your septic tank cleaned out, your sewer pipes flushed, or need a new septic installation; we are the company to call. Contact us today to get started!


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