Cost of Septic System Installation

Cost of Septic System Installation

Keep costs low by considering the following tips

By Glyn Sheridan

Septic Tank Installation
Photo by iStockphoto.comBookmark and Share

For homeowners who don't have access to a municipal sewer system, a private septic system may be the answer. Common in rural areas and farming communities, a septic system installs beneath the ground's surface and isn't detectable by the naked eye in most cases. Depending upon where you live, a typical septic system may cost between $1500 and $8000, but a specialty system with engineered aerobic features or a filtration system can cost substantially more.

Preliminary costs

Prior to installation, perform a soil percolation test to determine the best location for placement of the septic system for lateral drainage fields. You may also need to conduct a survey of the property grade when choosing the location of the septic tank. Most communities also require the homeowner to purchase a permit to install the system.


After choosing the site for the tank and the laterals, an excavation contractor must dig a pit to hold the tank. In addition to the main hole, a trench will run from the home's sewage drain to the septic tank and additional trenches will form the lateral drainage fields. Sand and gravel are usually required for the tank base and for the drain fields. Heavy soils, large rocks and tree roots, as well as widespread drainage field configurations, may add to the excavation cost.


The bigger your system, the more it will cost. The number of people living in the home will determine the size of the septic tank, and larger tanks cost more than smaller tanks. The distance from the house to the tank and from the tank to the laterals will also affect the cost since the contractor will use more drainage pipe during installation.

Pumping fees

You can save money by purchasing a smaller septic tank, but then you may end up spending more by hiring a pumping service more frequently. The cost to pump a tank varies by area, but a standard tank that accommodates a family of four may require pumping once or more per year. In general, pumping fees can range from less than $100 to more than $200, depending on where you live.

Other costs

After the tank is in place, local building codes may require a licensed plumber to install the drainpipe and to hook up the laterals. In addition, the plumber will have to connect a vent to the septic system to prevent the buildup of dangerous gases in the tank. Backfill and surface grading, as well as lawn reseeding can also add to the final costs.

About the Author

Glyn Sheridan is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

Related Guides

Installing Concrete Septic Tank

How to Select a Septic Tank Contractor

When you are installing a new septic tank system or need repairs on your property's drainage system or garbage disposal, work with a reputable and experienced septic tank contractor.... Read More

Plan your Home Maintenance

Sign Up

Already have an account? Log In

Log In with your Facebook account.
We’ll never post without your permission.

Create a DexKnows account:

At least 6 characters
By clicking Sign Up, you agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You'll receive the DexKnows Tips email newsletter as well as email updates about your account.

Please share the issue you encountered with our search

I am a(n):


Please check at least one issue checkbox.