How Much Does a Septic System & Septic Tank Cost

Content of the material

  1. Aerobic Septic System Understanding Septic System Repairs
  2. Video
  3. Cost to Replace Parts of Your Septic System 
  4. Baffle
  5. Drain or Leach Field
  6. Lid
  7. Pump
  8. Septic Tank Cost by Capacity
  9. 750-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  10. 1,000-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  11. 1,200-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  12. 1,500-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  13. 2,000-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  14. 2,500-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  15. 5,000-Gallon Septic Tank Cost
  16. Additional costs
  17. Why you need a new septic tank
  18. How Septic Tanks May Be Affected by the Pandemic
  19. Average Septic Tank Installation Costs
  20. Septic Tank Cost By House and Gallon Size
  21. Cost of Septic System for 3-Bedroom House
  22. Cost of Septic System for 4-Bedroom House
  23. What are the maintenance costs that add up for the septic system cost?
  24. Bottom line
  25. Cost of Septic Tank Installation by Location
  26. How much does it cost to replace a septic tank?
  27. Septic Tank Materials
  28. Concrete
  29. Fiberglass
  30. Plastic
  31. Steel
  32. Septic Tank Cost: Types of Septic Tanks
  33. Concrete
  34. Fiberglass
  35. Plastic
  36. Steel
  37. Mobile Home Septic Tanks
  38. Frequently Asked Questions
  39. 1. Do heavy rains damage your septic system or cause issues?
  40. 2. How long will a new septic system last?
  41. 3. How much space do you need for a septic system?
  42. 4. What components do you need for a septic system?
  43. Getting it Fixed
  44. How to Prepare for Your Septic Tank Installation
  45. Receive Multiple Estimates
  46. Test the Soil and Obtain a Permit
  47. Plan for Excavation
  48. Conclusion
  49. Septic Tank Replacement Costs
  50. Septic Drain Field Replacement Cost
  51. Septic Tank Pump Replacement Cost
  52. Septic Tank Removal Cost
  53. Septic Tank Baffle Replacement Cost
  54. Septic Tank Lid Replacement Cost
  55. Septic Tank Filter Replacement
  56. Cost to Install A Septic Riser
  57. Ground Preparation
  58. What is a Septic System, and How Does it Work?
  59. Septic Tank Cost: Do I Need a New Septic Tank?
  60. Standing Water
  61. Strange Smells
  62. Slow Draining
  63. Patchy Grass
  64. Aged System
  65. House Size Increase
  66. Nearby Contaminated Water Sources
  67. How Long Does a Septic Tank Last?

Aerobic Septic System Understanding Septic System Repairs

Convert to a Aerobic Septic System if you’re facing a complete replacement reduce your septic system cost. Learn how to deal with this expensive and stressful situation. Contrary to what you may have been told, there is an affordable alternative to replacing your septic system when it fails. Aero-Stream’s® patented septic remediation system can restore a failed system without costly excavation and landscaping expenses, ultimately reducing your septic system cost.


Cost to Replace Parts of Your Septic System 

As your system ages, parts may start to fail or not work correctly. This can add to your septic tank cost, but it’s always more cost-effective to replace parts than the entire system. Hiring a specialist or plumber to complete this replacement process will take your septic tank cost up between $45.00 and $200 an hour. The location will help determine the hourly rate. 


Replacing a baffle can be enough to fix a problem without having to go in, dig out the tank, and completely replace it. The baffle’s function is to prevent scum from building up and clogging the inlets or outlet pipe. Replacing this part if it starts to fail can help save your tank, and this can help you control your septic tank cost by saving thousands. You’ll spend between $300 and $500 for this part. 

Drain or Leach Field

The leach or drain field is the part of your system that takes the wastewater and puts it back in the soil. The first sign that you could have something wrong with this part is that you’ll get a wet and swampy area in your yard. There could also be a strong odor of sewage in your yard. This can easily drive your septic tank cost up by $2,000 to $10,000. 


The lid allows you to access the tank and provides cover for it. The lid can rust on metal tanks and require replacement. Although this is a slightly minor repair that will only increase your septic tank cost by $30.00 to $70.00, you have to do it quickly to avoid accidents. You’ll have to pay installation costs if you hire a professional to replace it for you. If you have a concrete lid, the cost will go up because you’ll need equipment to remove and replace it. 


Finally, your septic tank could have a pump. Most systems do if your setup is below the drain field because the pump will have to push the wastewater up to it. This is a more expensive septic tank cost, and a failed or failing pump can cost between $800 and $1,500 to fix. Also, you’ll have to pay to pump your system every two or three years to get rid of any solid waste. Pumping out your system costs around $400. 

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.

Get free estimates from trusted septic system installation companies near me

Additional costs

Fotogrin/Shutterstock Fotogrin/Shutterstock

When installing a new septic tank, you may need to replace additional components or apply for relevant permits. These additional considerations shouldn’t be overlooked when replacing a septic tank.

Permits can raise the cost by a slim margin but are an important part of the installation process

Permitting issues are important to consider when adding a new septic tank to your property. The EPA notes that a typical septic tank installation must be inspected by your local community’s governing body. This oversight is put in place to ensure that your tank is installed correctly — protecting your home and the surrounding community from failures related to improper installation — and that the tank is placed in a location that best supports its function.

EPA guidance reports that septic tank outlets should be at least 10 feet away from the structure they draw wastewater from. The tanks themselves should remain located in areas of the property that aren’t susceptible to flooding or pooling surface water. D-Tox Group notes that a septic tank may be as far away from the structure as 50 meters in some instances (although local regulations and space constraints will dictate the exact placement of your septic utility).

Installing a new tank might be the perfect opportunity to update other components in the septic system

When installing a new septic tank, you may want to consider updating other elements of the system for a seamless integration of parts and to sync maintenance schedules. HomeServe notes that the drain field can often sustain functionality for about the same length of time as the tank, and a drain field replacement operation will cost between $3,500 and $11,000 for more in-depth work.

You might also want to replace the tank pump or filter along with the tank itself. HomeServe reports that a pump will cost between $500 and $1,200, while the filter (as the most common maintenance requirement of the septic system as a whole) will cost between $230 and $280.

Why you need a new septic tank

AXL/Shutterstock AXL/Shutterstock

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 Septic Tanks May Be Affected by the Pandemic

You may not have realized it, but your septic tank was very likely impacted by the pandemic and may still be impacted. Septic tanks are sized based on projected need. This includes the number of water sources in the home, the number of occupants, and how many hours a day they are home.

When the pandemic was declared in March 2020, most non-essential workers and school children began staying or working from home. This put high stress on septic systems because more people were using the systems for more hours a day than they may have been designed for.

While some people resumed their normal lives and schedules after a short period, an estimated 25% to 30% of the workforce will continue to work from home once the pandemic is over. Many families have also turned to homeschooling to avoid disruptions during this time, meaning many families are spending more hours at home than before the pandemic.

This may mean your septic system is overburdened. It may need to be pumped more frequently than before, need additional service, or be replaced entirely, depending on its age and condition. Families with septic systems should have them inspected and talk with their septic company about addressing their needs.

Average Septic Tank Installation Costs

A traditional septic tank for a 3-bedroom house will cost around $3,900 to install on average. For conventional systems, prices start around $5,000 in the Midwest, whereas in coastal areas, one could cost $10,000 or more. For an engineered system, the costs will average around $15,000 for installation.

 Septic System Installation Cost   Septic System T

Septic System Installation Cost
Septic System Type Average Cost
Conventional $3,500 – $10,000
Alternative $6,000 – $15,000
Engineered $12,000 – $15,000

Septic Tank Cost By House and Gallon Size

The size of the tank needed for your home depends on the home’s size in square feet and the number of bedrooms. Standard septic tank sizes usually start at 750 gallons for a one- to two-bedroom houses under 1,500 sqft, and go up to 1,500 gallons for a six-bedroom house that is less than 5,500 sqft.

 Septic Tank Sizes and Prices   Tank Material Tank

Septic Tank Sizes and Prices
Tank Material Tank Gallon Size House Size Tank Cost
Polyethylene 500 1 bedroom $725
Polyethylene 750 2 bedroom $1,200
Polyethylene 1,000 3 bedroom $1,310
Fiberglass 1,000 3 bedroom $2,300
Polyethylene 1,250 3 or 4 bedroom $2,100
Concrete 1,250 3 or 4 bedroom $2,510
Fiberglass 1,250 3 or 4 bedroom $2,350
Polyethylene 1,500 5 or 6 bedroom $2,340
Concrete 1,500 5 or 6 bedroom $2,660
Fiberglass 1,500 5 or 6 bedroom $2,660

Costs above include excavation with good site conditions, placing of the tank, inlet and outlet fittings, and backfill after hookup. Add the cost of percolation testing, laying about 40 feet of pipes, and building the drain field ($2,000 – $10,000) to get your final cost.

Cost of Septic System for 3-Bedroom House

Cost of Septic System for 3-Bedroom House

The cost for a 1,000-gallon septic tank to support up to 3-bedrooms is between $2,190 and $5,200 with most homeowners spending $3,250 on average.

Cost of Septic System for 4-Bedroom House

The cost for a 1,250-gallon septic tank to support up to 4-bedrooms is between $2,310 and $5,400 with most homeowners spending $3,530 on average.

Return to Top

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. 

Bottom line

There’s a lot to think about when dealing with septic tank issues. Getting professional advice is important, but it helps to know what to expect so you can make educated decisions.

Whether you’re budgeting for a new tank or trying to keep your system running, it’s a good idea to shop around, read reviews and get multiple quotes to learn about your options.

If you’re just planning ahead or worried about septic tank costs down the line, consider a home warranty to help offset the costs. Read up on what they cover and whether they’re worth the money to learn more.

Cost of Septic Tank Installation by Location

Conditions in your specific area such as terrain, climate, and soil type will determine the type of septic system you should use and therefore will affect the overall cost of the project. Consult a local pro to determine the best type of septic system for your area and the average cost. 

Labor costs vary by location, too. A homeowner in a metropolitan area will likely pay much more for a new septic system than one in a rural area. We’ve estimated the national average cost of labor, but the price you actually pay could be significantly lower or higher. Get at least three estimates from local pros for your septic tank project — or any home improvement project — to give you a good idea of labor costs in your area. 

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.

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. According to HomeGuide, the cost for an average-sized concrete tank is between $700 and $2,000 (CAD 900 to CAD 2,600).


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 (CAD 2,000 to CAD 2,600).


Plastic tanks are light and easy to install. They’re also quite durable. Depending on the type, plastic tanks cost $800 to $2,000 (CAD 1,000 to CAD 2,600), on average.


Despite steel’s strength and durability, septic tanks made of steel can rust and 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 $500 to $2,500 (CAD 650 to CAD 3,200), according to Remodeling Expense.

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.


Frequently Asked Questions

Off-Site Septic Systems (38) by Soil Science / CC BY 2.0

1. Do heavy rains damage your septic system or cause issues?

Heavy rains can cause damage or issues for your septic system because it can make your drain field flood. If this area floods enough to saturate your soil, and wastewater isn’t able to drain correctly. This can cause tank flooding or large backups. 

2. How long will a new septic system last?

Most septic systems can last between 15 and 40 years with proper maintenance, and this can help you justify your septic tank cost. The drain field and the tank quality are the two biggest factors that determine how long it lasts. A concrete tank can last 40 years while a plastic tank can last 30 years. Slacking on maintenance can make it break down faster. 

3. How much space do you need for a septic system?

Your space will also dictate your septic tank cost. The smallest area you’ll need is at least a half of an acre, and aerobic systems work well. Other systems will need at least an acre, and mound systems need at least 200-feet. 

4. What components do you need for a septic system?

There are four main components to most septic systems. You’ll get the pipe that runs from the home, the tank itself, the drainfield, and the soil. There are microbes in the soil that will break down the waste products as well. 

Getting it Fixed

Check the websites of your local health department and state environmental agency to learn what procedures you need to follow for repairing or replacing a septic system—you may even find a list of licensed repair companies.

Call a couple and schedule visits. Or, if you have an advanced treatment system with an annual maintenance contract, call the company that’s overseeing your system already.

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.


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, editor, and classical literature student based in Colorado. When she isn’t reading or writing, she enjoys goofing off with her cats and spending time in nature.

Septic Tank Replacement Costs

If you take care of regular maintenance, you won’t need to think about replacing your treatment system for many years. Most tanks store three years’ worth of a home’s wastewater before they are due to be emptied/pumped. Septic tank pumping costs an average of $370 every three years or about $0.25/gallon.

 Septic Tank Replacement Costs   Replacement Item

Septic Tank Replacement Costs
Replacement Item Average Cost
Drain Field Replacement $3,500 – $11,000
Tank Pump Replacement $500 – $1,200
Tank Removal $5,500
Tank Baffle Replacement $23 – $44
Tank Lid Replacement $30 – $65
Tank Filter Replacement $230 – $280

Septic Drain Field Replacement Cost

Septic Drain Field Replacement Cost

Septic drain or leach field replacement will cost between $3,500 to $11,000 with most homeowners paying a total of $7,000 on average. It will cost about $30 per linear foot to dig up the old leach field and $9 to $12 per linear foot to lay the new filtration materials or leach field. A drain field will flood if it gets overloaded with too much liquid, causing sewage to back up in toilets and sinks.

Septic Tank Pump Replacement Cost

When your septic pump goes out, it will generally cost between $500 and $1,200 to replace. A pump is required to bring effluent up to the drain field. The pump is an essential piece due to the fact you need to pump your system every 2 to 3 years for about $370.

Septic Tank Removal Cost

Septic tank removal includes emptying the tank first and then removing or replacing it. Pumping the tank will cost about $250 to $600, depending on local labor costs, tank size, how far you are from a dumping ground, and dump fees. Removing and replacing a 1,000-gallon concrete tank will cost approx. $5,500.

Septic Tank Baffle Replacement Cost

It will cost $23 to $44 for the septic tank baffle part—this directs wastewater through the septic tank properly without disturbing the natural settling of the tanks’ scum layer.

Septic Tank Lid Replacement Cost

Metal tank lids will typically rust over time, and concrete covers can crack and will need to be replaced. A septic tank lid costs about $30 to $65 to replace not including professional installation.

Septic Tank Filter Replacement

Septic Tank Filter Replacement

The most common repair you will perform on your septic system is filter replacement. Expect to pay around $230 to $280 to install a quality filter for your septic tank.

Cost to Install A Septic Riser

Installing a septic tank riser will give you access to your septic tank at ground level by adding a piped shaft from the top of the tank to the ground level. A riser will cost you about $300 to $400 installed—very much worth it to give maintenance crew easy access should it needs repairs or maintenance. A polyethylene riser will be lightweight and easy to remove, while a concrete riser can be cumbersome and difficult to install, and can crack. Newer tanks usually come with the riser already attached, but old tanks can be fitted with one.

  • Septic Tank Riser Installation Cost – Installation or the labor cost to install your riser will be approx. $200. Add that to the price of the riser (below).
  • Plastic Septic Tank Riser Cost – A plastic septic tank riser with an adapter ring and lid costs approx. $75 to $155, with the highest-rated riser kits by Aero-Stream costing $195–$325, available from 7”–51” tall.
  • Concrete Septic Riser Cost – Concrete risers come in varying lengths with square, rectangular, or round holes and walls that are 3”–4” thick. Prices are only available from manufacturers upon request.

Return to Top

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.

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.

Septic Tank Cost: Do I Need a New Septic Tank?

The average lifespan of a septic tank is approximately 20 to 40 years, with some lasting even longer. Replacing a septic tank is a rare event within that lifespan as long as careful maintenance and regular inspections are performed. Here are a few of the more serious problems that may require a new septic tank installation.

Standing Water

Without a heavy rainfall, broken sprinkler line, or flooding river to blame for the extra water that’s visible on a part of a property, the remaining culprit is likely an oversaturated drain field or a broken pipe or septic tank. The excess liquid is not being properly absorbed into the ground and could be contaminated with bacteria.

Strange Smells

Contrary to popular belief, septic tanks should not smell all the time—after all, they are buried underground. A new odor of sewage can be caused by a septic tank that is too full and leaking solid waste. The leach field could have been contaminated and oversaturated by black water or contaminated wastewater.

Slow Draining

If the septic tank gets too full, all pipes will drain more slowly as there is less space for them to drain properly with gravity. When only one pipe drains slowly, there may be a blockage in only that pipe. If all toilets are flushing slowly or being backfilled with waste, a problem with the septic system needs to be addressed with repair or replacement.


Patchy Grass

When grass covers a septic tank and drain field, some problems can be identified by seeing patches of grass that suddenly grow more vibrantly. A wastewater leak can be an unsanitary method of watering or fertilizing the grass or small plants that grow above the system. Patchy grass may not be accompanied by a foul odor, but it’s best to ask for a professional inspection.

Aged System

Many homeowners who install a septic system move to a new home before the system ever needs to be replaced. However, if an older home was purchased that has an older system and repairs are frequently being made (or the system requires frequent pumping), it’s probably time to consider replacing the septic tank system.

House Size Increase

Since the size of the house is the primary determining factor for how large a septic tank is, expanding the home or increasing the water usage with additional people will affect the life of a septic tank. These are important factors that can affect whether the septic tank is sufficiently large enough to accommodate the home.

Nearby Contaminated Water Sources

Wastewater contamination can occur in nearby water sources if a septic tank has leaked improperly. If nitrate, nitrite, or coliform bacterias are discovered in natural water sources near the home, it’s important to investigate whether your septic tank is the source of the contamination.


How Long Does a Septic Tank Last?

A septic tank’s lifespan varies depending on the material and type of system installed. Clogging caused by roots or flooding from groundwater can decrease the septic tank’s lifespan. On average, septic systems last 15 to 20 years.

Regularly servicing your septic tank is the best way to increase its longevity. It’s important to note that servicing is more than just pumping out the tank; it’s also necessary to have a professional inspect your tank regularly and perform routine maintenance.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.