How Much Does a Septic Tank Installation Cost? (2022)

Additional Costs to Consider

Depending on the size of the land and soil conditions, a percolation test can cost anywhere from $250 to $1,000. This soil testing is required, and you must plan for these costs. Typically, professionals only dig a few holes in the proposed leach field area, but your test’s cost can increase if a land survey is needed to determine where to excavate.

To build a septic tank on your land, you’ll need to obtain a permit. Permit pricing varies from state to state, but they usually cost $200 to $2,000 and are typically renewed every few years.

Labor Costs

Labor costs must also be factored into your project. Typically, you would hire a plumber or other specialist to complete a septic tank replacement or installation. Depending on the project’s complexity, labor costs could fall between $1,500 and $4,000.

Septic Tank Size

Your septic tank size ties directly to the number of bedrooms in your home. The more bedrooms your home has, the larger your septic tank must be to accommodate the household. For example, a 1,000-gallon tank would cover a three-bedroom home and cost about $1,500 on average. However, a one-bedroom home could use only a 500-gallon tank, reducing the tank cost to around $800.

How to Save Money on Septic Tank Cost

There are a few ways that can help save money on septic tank costs. Some of these can be achieved by DIY-ing some of the easier preinstallation tasks. Here are a few ideas to get started.

  • Ask about current or upcoming discounts or promotions.
  • Request a quote from at least two companies, if possible.
  • Ask about all-in-one installation costs, and compare them to expected costs in the event you complete some tasks on your own.
  • Consider preparing the land before installation begins.
  • Consider purchasing and placing the gravel that’s used beneath the tank and drain field yourself.
  • Request soil tests and permits yourself. However, be aware that some companies will only accept permits they obtained.


Holding Tank vs Septic Tank

A holding tank is seen as a temporary solution for holding wastewater, costing $500 to $4,000 compared to $3,100 to $9,600 for septic systems. As the name suggests, a holding tank holds wastewater but doesn’t have a system to filter the waste. Once a holding tank reaches capacity, it must be emptied, with most requiring monthly, if not weekly, pumping.

Holding tanks are a better option for tiny homes, trailers, boats, or RVs, as they are not designed for larger family homes. Unlike a holding tank, a septic tank is a full system that filters wastewater and sends effluent out into the drain field and surrounding soil. A full septic system is more expensive but requires less maintenance and is more permanent than temporary holding tanks.

Type of TankCost (Installed)Holding$500 - $4,000Se

Type of TankCost (Installed)
Holding$500 – $4,000
Septic$3,100 – $9,600

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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Septic Tank?

On average, the cost of installing a new septic tank system is $3,900. The price ranges from $1,500 to $5,000 for a typical 1,250-gallon tank, which is an ideal size for a three- or four-bedroom home.

This cost is inclusive of the tank itself, which costs $600 to $2,100 or more, depending on the type. Labor costs are also included in the installation price, and usually range from $1,500 to $4,000.

Septic Tank Materials

Another factor influencing cost is what your septic tank is made from. Here are some of the most common materials:


Concrete tanks are the most common type of septic tank because they’re durable. Properly maintained, they can last 20 to 30 years. However, concrete may crack over time. Reinforcing the concrete with rebar helps increase its strength under pressure. Installation is more challenging, and extensive equipment is needed because of its weight. The cost for an average-sized concrete tank is $720 to $2,050.


Fiberglass doesn’t weaken when used underground, and it’s nonporous, so it won’t attract algae growth. Installation is easier because the tank is light. Unlike concrete, it won’t expand or contract, so you don’t have to worry about cracking. The average fiberglass tank costs $1,600 to $2,000.


Plastic tanks are light and easy to install. They’re also quite durable. Depending on the type, plastic tanks cost $830 to $1,400 on average.


Despite steel’s strength and durability, septic tanks made of steel can rust can collapse if not properly cleaned. As a result, some local authorities have increased regulations to discourage their use. You’ll usually find them in areas where the system already existed. If you can get one installed, they cost $900 to $9,900.

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

FAQ About Septic Tanks

1. Can you install your own septic tank?

Short answer: No. While it is technically possible for you to install your own septic tank, the odds are very high that you’ll make a mistake that will cause you much more grief (and cost you much more money) than working with a professional in the first place.Installing a septic tank requires specialized technical knowledge you can’t gain from a DIY YouTube video. Messing up this project could cause water pollution, drive up your home insurance premiums, and make your home much harder to sell. In some places, it may even be illegal for someone without the proper license to install a septic system.

2. How do septic tanks work?

Different types of septic systems work in different specific ways, as we’ve already covered. But these are the basics. Waste from your home (anything that goes down the drain of toilets, sinks, showers, etc.) flows into the septic tank. In the tank, waste separates into three layers: the scum layer on top, liquid waste in the middle, and solid waste sinking to the bottom. Either aerobic or anaerobic bacteria break down the solid waste, which stays in the tank. Liquid waste goes through the filter before moving on to the leach field, which distributes the water into the ground in most systems. 

3. How can you tell when you need a new septic system? There are a few signs to look for that will tell you it’s time for a new septic system, or at least a repair. Signs include: — Standing water in the yard — Sewage smells — Showers, sinks, etc., in the home draining slowly  — Water and/or sewage backing up in toilets, showers, sinks, etc.

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Why you need a new septic tank

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There are many reasons why you might want to replace a septic tank. These begin with a natural lifespan calculation of the current system, but this isn’t the only factor at play when it comes to replacing your wastewater treatment system.

A damaged tank should be repaired or replaced immediately

If your septic tank has been damaged or shows some of the telltale signs of leaks or other seepage issues, then inspecting the system should be your first priority. Aqua Test Inc. notes that a damaged tank can be detrimental to the surrounding ecosystem of your lawn, and the best way to catch these issues before they develop into a significant problem is to check your tank for damage every five years.

If the tank is damaged beyond repair, then an immediate replacement is simply necessary. Just like broken windows, a leaking roof, or cracks in the foundation, the septic tank is a feature of the home that can’t be pushed down the road for replacement once the time has come.

Your septic capacity needs may change over time

If you’ve recently renovated your home to include an in-law suite, added bedroom, or any other expansion to match the needs of a growing family, you may also require a larger septic tank to keep pace with your wastewater requirements. Aqua Test Inc. notes that a 900 or 1,000-gallon tank is typically appropriate for a standard layout that supports one to three bedrooms. This equates to about 500 gallons of water used per day.

Alternatively, a five-bedroom home averages about 900 gallons of water usage each day, resulting in a larger tank capacity requirement. If you’ve added new living space to support an in-law or any other new addition to the property, upgrading from a smaller tank to one that holds 1,500 gallons will help support the ongoing lifestyle and comfort that you’ve come to expect from your home.

How does a septic tank system work?

Generally speaking, septic tanks function by separating floatable matter (like oil) and solids from your home’s wastewater before sending the remaining treated water out into either the soil, sand, organic matter, wetlands or other media. However, the specifics of how a given type of system works will differ.

In a conventional septic system, the grey water and blackwater from your home flow into the tank. Over time, the solids sink to the bottom of the tank, and fats, oils and grease float to the surface as scum. The scum and sludge are separated from the wastewater, and the treated water is sent to the drainfield for further filtration.

The drainfield removes harmful coliform bacteria and viruses as the wastewater gets sent through a filtration process involving sand, soil or other means. The wastewater is then continuously filtered as it passes through the earth before entering the water table.

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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What’s Included in the Cost of My Septic System?

Be sure to ask exactly what’s included in the sept

Be sure to ask exactly what’s included in the septic system installation costs when you’re gathering estimates for your new septic tank installation. Generally, you should expect to see things like:

  • New septic tank
  • Labor costs to remove the existing septic system and install the new septic system
  • Septic system components like piping and leach fields
  • Permitting

The cost of septic system supplies will vary depending on the type of system you choose as well as materials. For a homeowner on a specific budget, let your plumber know so they can suggest materials and systems that will work best within the cost to install that.

The plumber who comes out to give you an estimate for your new septic system will also look at the condition of your soil by doing soil testing.  They’ll also look at the water table. The land surrounding your property is another thing they’ll look at to see if there are wetlands or anything around.

The septic system installers will work to gather the septic tank materials and get your system installed quickly and safely once you decide on the type of system you need.

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.

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 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 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.



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.


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.


Septic Tank System Cost

A new septic tank system costs $3,918 to install on average, with prices ranging from $1,500 to upward of $5,000. Most homeowners spend between $3,280 and $5,040 for a 1,250-gallon system that supports 3 or 4 bedrooms. Septic system installation with two alternating pumps costs $9,571 on average and can go up to $15,000.

 Septic System Cost    National  Average Cost   $3

Septic System Cost
National Average Cost $3,918
Minimum Cost $1,500
Maximum Cost $15,000
Average Range $3,280 to $5,040

Your final cost depends on the conditions of current waste lines and the soil where the septic tank will go. When building a home on raw land that is not connected to a local municipality waste system, this type of system is your best option for sewage treatment.

Sewer Pipe Cost

Sewer pipes in septic systems are slightly different from the typical sewer pipe. They are a different size and usually are a minimum of 4 inches in diameter. These pipes have protection around them, such as baffles or sanitary tees typically constructed of concrete, fiberglass, or plastic, and need to be acid-resistant. The most common materials for sewer pipes for these systems are PVC and cast iron. The cost depends on the pipe length and location. The material cost of the pipe is between $100 and $240 per linear foot of material to replace or install a sewer pipe. The cost for a plumber to do the installation or repair is typically between $45 and $200 per hour.

Ground Preparation

While the drain field can be expensive, it is an important part of the system. Another important element is ground preparation. You will need to clear the land, dig up the earth, and move or remove it. This costs an average of about $1,000 for a standard property and an average septic system.

How much does it cost to replace a septic tank?

Expect to spend between $3,000 and $10,000 to replace the septic tank for a single-family home. However, this overall cost really depends on two other numbers: the price of your septic tank and the cost of installation.

Septic tank prices vary based on the type and size of the tank in question. The tank size you need is usually determined by the size of your household, so there’s not much choice there unless you want to go bigger to accommodate future growth.

On the other hand, you have more options when it comes to the type of tank you want:

  • Concrete tanks: A concrete tank can cost $700 to $2,000 before installation.
  • Fiberglass tanks: A fiberglass tank typically costs $1,200 to $2,000 before installation.
  • Polyethylene (plastic) tanks: A plastic tank is, on average, the most variable option at $500 to $2,500 before installation.

Steel tanks are also an option, but they’re less common and prone to rusting.

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What is a Septic System, and How Does it Work?

A septic system is an underground wastewater treatment structure most often used when a municipal sewer system is not available. They are commonly found in rural areas rather than cities.

A typical septic system consists of a septic tank, a distribution box, and a leach field. A leach field is also called a drain field or soil absorption field. A septic tank will help digest organic matter and separates floatable matter such as grease, oils, and solids from the wastewater.

The system discharges the liquid from the septic tanks into perforated pipes buried in a leech field, designed to release the effluent into the soil slowly.

Although the first septic tanks have been in use since the late 1800s, they did not become popular until the 1960s. Up until that time, a cesspool was common in most homes.

How much money does it cost to maintain a septic system?

While installing a septic system might be quite expensive, there is good news: maintaining a septic system is quite affordable.Septic systems only need to be maintained by being pumped every few years, and it usually only costs a few hundred dollars to have a plumber come out for routine septic maintenance.

How Can I Keep My Septic System Working Well?

It’s important to have regular maintenance on your septic system to be sure it’s functioning properly. This will help the septic system cost down because you’ll know what’s going on with your septic tank and repair things instead of being surprised by a septic tank emergency.

Regular maintenance can help to keep your septic system replacement costs down because you may only need to replace one part of your septic system instead of the entire system.

We recommend scheduling routine maintenance every three to five years. Having your septic system pumped can help prevent septic backups. A sewage backup can be a costly nightmare, so routine maintenance saves you money and hassle in the long run.

What are the maintenance costs that add up for the septic system cost?

The septic system cost when you replace it is costly, but you can prevent future issues and catch problems early on with regular maintenance.

One of the biggest maintenance tasks related to septic systems is pumping. Over time, sediment and other materials build up in the bottom of your system. This material, called sludge, can’t travel through the pipes and created a thick coat in your tank. The more sludge in your tank, the less wastewater it can hold and the sludge will eventually block the pipes. By pumping your septic tank frequently, you can remove this sludge and keep everything moving. 

Septic tanks need to be pumped every three to five years. This costs about $400 on average. Pumping large tanks can cost $1,000 or more. If you have a small septic tank or a large family (that requires more wastewater) then you will likely need to pump your septic tank more frequently.  

Along with pumping every five years, you should schedule an inspection every one to three years. The inspector will check the sludge levels and check for issues with the system to see if repairs are needed.  

Before you balk at the cost of having a septic tank pumped, think about what could happen if you don’t maintain it. Not only will it cost thousands of dollars to replace it, but you could end up with sewage in undesirable places. You could experience backups in your toilets and sinks or have to contend with foul odors around your home and yard. 

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Find a Realtor Who Knows Their Septic Stuff

If you are moving to a new area (or even just down the street) the right Realtor can help you learn about septic tanks in the area. Ask them whether they are common in most households and where you can find their inspection history. This will make you an informed buyer who feels comfortable closing on a home. 

At UpNest, we work to pair buyers and sellers with the best agents in their area. Use our tool to find highly qualified and experienced Realtors who want to guide you through the buying process. Stay competitive in this market with a real estate champion by your side.

UpNest is a no-cost service for home sellers and buyers to find the best real estate agents locally. The UpNest platform allows you to compare multiple agents in your area so you can compare reviews, commission rates, previous sales, and more.

Our agents have been carefully vetted and often offer competitive, lower than average commission rates to UpNest customers. There is no obligation to sign up with one of our Realtors, but when you can potentially save thousands on commission – why wouldn’t you? If you’re ready to get started, just enter your zipcode below!

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How does the septic system work?

According to the EPA, septic systems are underground wastewater treatment structures, commonly used in rural areas without centralized sewer systems. They use a combination of nature and proven technology to treat wastewater from household plumbing produced by bathrooms, kitchen drains, and laundry.

What are the 2 types of septic systems? There are two main septic system types. They are conventional septic systems and alternative septic systems. Site and soil conditions generally determine the type of system that should be installed.


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